How Misfit Mascots Can Help with Branding

Cabbage mascot chasing main character in Verisign branding attempt
Image courtesy of

Halloween may be over, but creepy commercials are still floating around.

Verisign, a website hosting company, released four separate commercials, each featuring their own creepy mascot. Their commercials featured a fish mascot stalking a man on a bus, a cake dancing with a man in a club, a cabbage chasing a man down an alley, and a bee trying to pick up women at a bar. As we come to the conclusion of the commercials, we find out that these strange mascots are actually ideas thought up by the main characters.

Did you like the ending? Right after the confused man is knocked out by the fish, a voice-over says “You never know when an idea will hit you. When it does, make it official.” During the voice-over, the man types in the term “Indoorfishpond” into the domain creator. At this point, we have the big reveal. The mascot is the idea following him around. This same idea applies to the other Verisign commercials as well.

In the past, we have talked about creepy commercials and mascots, which are often used to get viewers to keep their eyes glued to the screen. These commercials are no different. The mascots do not belong in the scenes in which they exist, which makes us wonder why they are there.

Have these commercials helped? Let’s look at their stock. Verisign’s stock had slowly been creeping up through July and August. From September to the middle of October, the company’s stock steadily declined. However, in late October, when the commercials were released, their stock rose again. Their stock is now higher than it has been in nine months.

Verisign stock after branding attempts
Image courtesy of

The sharp rise in stock value conveniently happened when these commercials were released. The commercials were released between October 20 and October 27.

Thus far, these weird and creepy commercials seem to have helped Verisign get their message across. One YouTube commenter said, “Usually I see a good commercial and I’ll either laugh or think to myself, ‘huh that’s interesting,’ but this actually made me want to create a website because it is so true. You have this great idea and then you wait too long and it’s already taken.”

Another YouTube commenter said, “This is a commercial done right. I was on the hook.” This comment leads us to another benefit of these commercials. Each commercial uses a unique situation and a unique mascot. Viewers of past Verisign commercials are likely to take a look at new Verisign commercials that follow a similar strategy to see what the new mascot is, and how the mascot relates to the final idea.

We do not know if Verisign will create more of these delightfully creepy commercials, but for their sake, we hope so.

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