Last year, EVB launched a campaign for Juicy Fruit that featured a Serenading Unicorn, singing hits from the 80s. The social content campaign took the form of a microsite, Facebook application and viral video. It was enormously successful and has single-handedly helped revive a nascent brand. This year, EVB and Juicy Fruit have upped the ante, re-launching the unicorn with a fresh collection of songs and well-known celebrity talent.

The majority of feedback is great. People seem to love the unicorn. With very little media air cover, the campaign is blowing up once again. As I write this, the videos have over 500,000 organic views on YouTube and thousands more mentions on Twitter and Facebook, and we are just getting started.

The one piece of criticism that I have heard, even from the advertising community is that the unicorn “has nothing to do with the product or the brand.” This comment is surprising, even shocking to me, that people who claim to be experts in marketing and advertising have so little tolerance or understanding of what it entails to create and support a character.

It made me wonder if these same people asked

“What does a tiger have to do with breakfast cereal?” or
“What does a duck have to do with disability insurance?” or
“What does a elves have to do with cookies?” or
“What does a clown have to do with McDonalds?”

I could obviously go on and on here. There is no shortage of characters and icons that have been created to support brands throughout history. I am guessing that there must be some sort of initiation period before a branded character is accepted by the advertising industry. The pubic, fortunately, doesn’t seem to have the same standards.