An Analysis of Olympic Mascot Design Toward Attitude and Purchase Intention

in International Journal of Sport Communication

Click name to view affiliation

Amanda PalladinoDepartment of Sport Management, College of Business and Management, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

Search for other papers by Amanda Palladino in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Minkyo LeeDepartment of Sport Management, College of Business and Management, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

Search for other papers by Minkyo Lee in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
*
, and
Xiaochen ZhouDepartment of Sport Management, College of Business and Management, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

Search for other papers by Xiaochen Zhou in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Olympic mascots are important marketing tools for the Olympic Games, as they can communicate the meaning of the games. However, there is limited understanding on how to effectively design Olympic mascots as a marketing communication tool. This study focused on understanding how design elements of Olympic mascots influence fans’ perceptions, attitude, and purchase intention. An online experiment, featured in a 2 (design types: anthropomorphic animal, abstract) × 2 (Olympic brand cues: presence, absence) mixed subject design, was conducted. The results showed that animal mascots received significantly higher ratings than abstract mascots in terms of design perception, attitude, and purchase intention. This study demonstrates how the visual design of Olympic mascots influences consumer perception, attitude, and behavior. Our research has bridged this gap by exploring the effects of Olympic mascot design and Olympic symbols as an important marketing communication tool.

  • Collapse
  • Expand
  • Aaker, J.L. (2000). Accessibility or diagnosticity? Disentangling the influence of culture on persuasion processes and attitudes. Journal of Consumer Research, 26(4), 340357. https://doi.org/10.1086/209567

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Aggarwal, P., & McGill, A.L. (2007). Is that car smiling at me? Schema congruity as a basis for evaluating anthropomorphized products. Journal of Consumer Research, 34(4), 468479.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Aggarwal, P., & McGill, A.L. (2012). When brands seem human, do humans act like brands? Automatic behavioral priming effects of brand anthropomorphism. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(2), 307323. https://doi.org/10.1086/662614

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ahn, T., Suh, Y.I., Lee, J.K., & Pedersen, P.M. (2013). Sport fans and their teams’ redesigned logos: An examination of the moderating effect of team identification on attitude and purchase intention of team-logoed merchandise. Journal of Sport Management, 27(1), 1123. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsm.27.1.11

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Apostolopoulou, A., Papadimitriou, D., & Damtsiou, V. (2010). Meanings and functions in Olympic consumption: A study of the Athens 2004 Olympic licensed products. European Sport Management Quarterly, 10(4), 485507. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2010.502746

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brown, S. (2010). Where the wild brands are: Some thoughts on anthropomorphic marketing. The Marketing Review, 10(3), 209224. https://doi.org/10.1362/146934710X523078

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burke, M. (2021). Updated: How the Olympics impact online retail sales. JungleScout. https://www.junglescout.com/blog/olympics-impact-on-retail-sales

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Çakir, F., Çakir, M., & Solak, S. (2018). The effect of using mascot on products and services to remind the brand. In R. Yilmaz, M.A. Icbay, & H. Arslan (Eds.), Research and development on social science: European conference on social and behavioral sciences 2018 (pp. 155162). E-BWN.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Choi, Y.K., Miracle, G.E., & Biocca, F. (2001). The effects of anthropomorphic agents on advertising effectiveness and the mediating role of presence. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 2(1), 1932. https://doi.org/10.1080/15252019.2001.10722055

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Delbaere, M., McQuarrie, E.F., & Phillips, B.J. (2011). Personification in advertising. Journal of Advertising, 40(1), 121130. https://doi.org/10.2753/JOA0091-3367400108

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Deligoz, K., & Unal, S. (2021). The effect of anthropomorphic mascot on the purchasing intention of consumers: An experimental study. Sosyoekonomi, 29(50), 229254.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fournier, S. (1998). Consumers and their brands: Developing relationship theory in consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 24(4), 343353. https://doi.org/10.1086/209515

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Freeman, I., Knight, P., & O’Reilly, N. (2007). Symbolism and the effectiveness of Olympic mascots. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2(1), 4158. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJSMM.2007.011389

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gerber, C., Terblanche-Smit, M., & Crommelin, T. (2014). Brand recognition in television advertising: The influence of brand presence and brand introduction. Acta Commercii, 14(1), 18. https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v14i1.182

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Griggs, G., Freeman, I., Knight, P., & O’Reilly, N. (2012). A vision of London in the twenty-first century or just terrifying monsters: A semiotic analysis of the official mascots for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Leisure Studies, 31(3), 339354. https://doi.org/10.1080/02614367.2012.659202

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Han, Y.J., Nunes, J.C., & Drèze, X. (2010). Signaling status with luxury goods: The role of brand prominence. Journal of Marketing, 74(4), 1530. https://doi.org/10.1509/jmkg.74.4.015

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hart, P., & Royne, M.B. (2017). Being human: How anthropomorphic presentations can enhance advertising effectiveness. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 38(2), 129145. https://doi.org/10.1080/10641734.2017.1291381

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hur, J.D., Koo, M., & Hofmann, W. (2015). When temptations come alive: How anthropomorphism undermines self-control. Journal of Consumer Research, 42, 340358.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • International Olympic Committee. (2020). Annual report 2020: Credibility, sustainability, youth [PDF file]. https://stillmed.olympics.com/media/Documents/International-Olympic-Committee/Annual-report/IOC-Annual-Report-2020.pdf?_ga=2.233997150.1781056457.1637710787-955273546.1637090304

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jackson, S., & Jacobs, S. (1983). Generalizing about messages: Suggestions for design and analysis of experiments. Human Communication Research, 9(2), 169191

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Knight, P., Freeman, I., Stuart, S., Griggs, G., & O’Reilly, N. (2014). Semiotic representations of Olympic mascots revisited: Virtual mascots of the games 2006–2012. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 5(1), 7492. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-03-2012-0010

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kolotouchkina, O. (2018). Engaging citizens in sports mega-events: The participatory strategic approach of Tokyo 2020 Olympic. Communications & Society, 31(4), 4558. https://doi.org/10.15581/003.31.4.45-58

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kwak, D.H., Kwon, Y., & Lim, C. (2015). Licensing a sports brand: Effects of team brand cue, identification, and performance priming on multidimensional values and purchase intentions. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 24(3), 198210. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-05-2014-0579

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kwon, Y., & Kwak, D.H. (2014). Revisiting the team identification-value-purchase relationship in the team-licensed merchandise consumption context: A multidimensional consumer value approach. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 23(2), 100114.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lin, R., Lin, P., & Ko, K. (1999). A study of cognitive human factors in mascot design. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 23(1–2), 107122. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0169-8141(97)00106-6

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Magdalinski, T. (2004). “Cute, loveable characters”: The place and significance of mascots in the Olympic movement. International Journal of Olympic Studies, 13, 7592.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marzick, J. (n.d.). Mascots. The Culture Crush. https://www.theculturecrush.com/feature/mascots

  • Mick, D.G., Burroughs, J.E., Hetzel, P., & Brannen, M.Y. (2004). Pursuing the meaning of meaning in the commercial world: An international review of marketing and consumer research founded on semiotics. Semiotica, 152(1), 174. https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2004.2004.152-1-4.1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MiQ. (2021). Which country has the world’s most passionate Olympic fans? https://www.wearemiq.com/blog/which-country-has-the-worlds-most-passionate-olympic-fans/

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Olympics. (n.d.). Beijing 2008 the mascot. Olympics. https://olympics.com/en/olympic-games/beijing-2008/mascot

  • Olympic Studies Centre. (2019). Olympic summer games mascots from Munich 1972 to Tokyo 2020. Osco Reference Collection, 132.

  • Preuss, H. (2004). Calculating the regional economic impact of the Olympic games. European Sport Management Quarterly, 4(4), 234253. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184740408737479

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ross, S.D., James, J.D., & Vargas, P. (2006). Development of a scale to measure team brand associations in professional sport. Journal of Sport Management, 20(2), 260279. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsm.20.2.260

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Swayne, L.E., & Dodds, M. (Eds.). (2011). Encyclopedia of sports management and marketing. (Vols. 1–4). SAGE Publications, Inc.

  • The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. (2017). Creative brief for the Olympic and Paralympic games Tokyo 2020 mascots [PDF file]. www.tokyo2020.org

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wen Wan, E., Peng Chen, R., & Jin, L. (2017). Judging a book by its cover? The effect of anthropomorphism on product attribute processing and consumer preference. Journal of Consumer Research, 43, 10081030.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wu, D. (2016). Understanding consumer response to the Olympic visual identity designs (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). The University of Texas.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Xing, X., & Chalip, L. (2006). Effects of hosting a sport event on destination brand: A test of co-branding and match-up models. Sport Management Review, 9(1), 4978. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1441-3523(06)70019-5

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yadav, P., Bisoyi, D., & Chakrabati, D. (2015). Anthropomorphic brand mascot serves as the vehicle: To quickly remind customers who you are and what you stand for in Indian cultural context. International Scientific Research and Experimental Development. Paper presented at the ICCVAD International Conference on Communication, Visual Arts and Design.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1896 1896 184
Full Text Views 43 43 1
PDF Downloads 68 68 2