Do You Miss Mascots?
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Thread: Do You Miss Mascots?

  1. #1

    Do You Miss Mascots?

    One casualty I've noticed since consolidation - now that stations are partners and not competitors - is the death of the Station Mascot. A costumed character - often wrapped around a sweaty intern gasping for breath - that gave away dopey shit and posed for photos at remotes and events.

    And I really miss them! :'(

    Stations I was involved with over the years had kangaroos, large birds, cats with sunglasses... the guys crosstown had a bear, a square-jawed jock, gorillas, chickens ... there was no end to the creativity.

    Nowadays, an "event" usually means a folding banquet table with a sprinkling of cheap giveaways like squeeze water bottles and crap key rings, a stained & torn banner across the front, a boombox, and a couple of "street team" members being paid minimum wage to stand there and explain to the public why "Jason in the Morning" is really based out of Akron and won't be here today. Gone are the days when giant smiling ears of corn were handing out T-shirts.

    Guys older than me miss their cart machines and turntables. For me, it's mascots. They might have been a '90s phenomenon, but they were fun. Anyone else?
    Alan in Washington DC<br />C&#039;mon,... you know who I am...

  2. #2

    Re: Do You Miss Mascots?

    While KNIX in Phoenix doesn't have a suited up mascot handing out swag. For several years they have had Barrel Boy handing out things at functions. Just google image KNIX barrel boy to look for yourself.

    But as for your answer to the decline of mascots, a lot probably has to do with the consolidation of radio and shrinking promotional/marketing budgets and only the cash cows of each market getting anything worthwhile.

  3. #3

    Re: Do You Miss Mascots?

    Personally, I've always liked the KMLE Country camel although I've never seen "him" live anywhere.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  4. #4

    Re: Do You Miss Mascots?

    Not sure if you noticed, but this thread got a mention in Tom Taylor's daily newsletter today. It was accompanied by a photo of "Jeremiah B. Frog" from Big Frog 104 (WFRG) in Utica, NY. Sister station Lite 98.7 (WLZW) has a giant toucan called "Tookey Bird" who appears at remotes. Across town, a competing station called "Bug Country" has (or had?) a giant bug with big antennae and a cowboy hat.

    In Syracuse, about 50 miles west and about 80 markets higher, the perennial #1 station is Clear Channel country B104.7, which has a cowboy hat-wearing bee in its logo, but I don't recall ever seeing a bee mascot in person or in photos. Relatively new competitor New Country WOLF-FM 105.1 does have a mascot named Howler. The original one looked kinda creepy, like the big bad wolf ready to go after Little Red Riding Hood, but it was soon replaced by a much friendlier looking costume. Can't think of any other mascots in Syracuse.

    I think Natheodan is right on, with stations not wanting to spend the money. When I worked in Utica, mascot talent fees were covered by the client who hosted the remote. But the station still has the initial cost for the mascot suits, ongoing costs to clean them, and costs to replace them when they finally get beyond repair. In years gone by, when clients paid for the actual remote, it may have been easier to "earmark" remote money for mascot maintenance, but today, many remotes are just "bonuses" to clients who make a big buy, with the only additional client cost being talent fees. As a result, mascot upkeep comes out of the same budget line that many stations probably feel would be better spent on contest prizes or other perks (banners, vehicle wraps, etc.).

    I would imagine that stations which used to have mascots, likely figured the mascots weren't making a difference in the number of listeners attending remotes. Anyone know if any "official" research has ever been performed on the subject?

  5. #5

    Re: Do You Miss Mascots?

    In the 1960's at Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario 590 KFXM we had a real live tiger ! Our logo was
    tiger radio. No, I don't miss cart machines or TT's. Scott system is like having an engineer run the board, or better.

  6. #6

    Re: Do You Miss Mascots?

    As one who, as an on air staffer, had to don the "suit" on a 90 degree day for a photo

    They can be effective, but I think may have become overused.

    And, this day of cost cutting, who has the extra cash in the budget to pay for another staffer to go out on remotes with the jock to wear a funny suit? Especially when a lot of remotes these days are "freebies" promised to a sponsor in return for an annual buy as "value added"?

    I still contend the best remotes are the ones where you literally take the station out to a sponsor location and broadcast the whole thing...talkovers, breaks, (Utilizing the "magic" of radio and show those not in it how it's done.) But, that's hard to do these days due to the fact that a digital transmitter adds about a 3 second delay from when you say it to when you hear it over the air.

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