Death of a Corporate Mascot

The news about the “Kevin Butler” character has been pretty wild the last couple of days. I’ve been careful not to couch my stories in too much legal language, since I’m no expert and don’t want to give that impression. But speaking in layman’s terms, I can see where both of them are coming from.

From Lambert’s perspective, he’s probably playing a variation on himself. The bulk of the resemblance seems to be his physical appearance, even if one or two of his speaking roles as a Bridgestone engineer has touched on that kind of bravado. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if the ad writers put him that role because they knew he was good at it. If that kind of character is just how he is when in “goofy” roles, I don’t see how Sony can lay claim on it.

Sony saw their former mascot in an ad with a Wii and was understandably bristled. I tend to think if he had just remained in Bridgestone ads they would have left well enough alone, so he probably should have known better than to appear in the Wii ad. Not because it was necessarily untoward, but just to be on the safe side.

Whatever the outcome, this is a heck of a way for such a successful ad campaign to end. From a marketing perspective, Kevin Butler was one of the most successful branding campaigns we’ve seen in years, so it would have been nice if it had ended a bit more amicably. Or ended at all, really, I didn’t even realize the character was done with until this news started coming out.

I’ve been a bit busy for updating this thing as of late, between a busy release season and moving into a new house. We’re moved in now, but the busy season presses on, so I can’t promise more frequent updates. I can say I’ll make the attempt, but responsibilities come first.

I reviewed XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and it’s probably somewhere in my top 5 games of the year now. Other contenders so far, in no particular order, are Journey and The Walking Dead.

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One thought on “Death of a Corporate Mascot

  1. “I tend to think if he had just remained in Bridgestone ads they would have left well enough alone, so he probably should have known better than to appear in the Wii ad.”

    But it was a Bridgestone ad… it just happened to be a Bridgestone ad where they were offering a free Wii if you bought four tires, as I understand it.

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