How could you make an iconic character from an imaginary world, that millions of fans have already made a connection with, even more personable? You might have asked this same question yourself; however, it might have sounded more like "how can I make my brand even more personable - my business more impacting?"
In Fallout's case it's incredibly clear. When you have an iconic image like Vault Boy, you need to make it the centerpiece in all your promotional and branding efforts. We created a Vault Boy custom shaped flash drive to give an example of just how easy it is to take an already existing imaginary character and bring it to life!
When people think of the Fallout video game series, they immediately think of Vault Boy. The always-smiling, thumbs-up-giving cartoon from Fallout is one of the most iconic images in gaming. His happy demeanor is in stark contrast to the post apocalyptic world in which his face is plastered all over - a world where nuclear war has turned the Earth into a living hell.
It's always surprised us how often businesses miss out on being more personal with their brands, especially when it comes to making their promotional products.
Well, weeks before the launch of the new Fallout 4 video game, a couple of people from our creative team were discussing interesting ideas for custom shaped flash drives. Some of the guys mentioned their excitement for the upcoming game release. Many of us here at UMD love playing video games - we won't deny it - and we entered into a rant about the series and Vault Boy came into the conversation.
Whether Bethesda Studios (video game creators) meant for it to happen or not, Vault Boy became the face of their Fallout video game series - kind of like how Tony the Tiger is the face of Frosted Flakes - and millions of fans and gamers have connected with the little cartoon who seems to always be near, cheering you on while you play. And he isn't even a protagonist in the video game!
As the official mascot of Vault-Tec Corporation - a fictional corporation in Fallout contracted by the United States government before the Great War to design and produce the vault system, a vast network of complex nuclear bomb shelters - Vault Boy appears throughout the entire video game's world promoting their vaults through: in-game advertisements, manuals, training films - nearly every other product Vault-Tec produces.
It's interesting how even this fictional corporation understood: if you can develop a functional brand mascot that truly personifies a brand, they can be more effective than celebrities! Who doesn't know and love the Geico gecko, or Flo from Progressive? Our studies show that brand mascots resonate more with people and inspires them to engage in conversation and share content. We caught a little glimpse of that reality when when we made Vault Boy into a custom shaped flash drive.
Before we made the flash drives, we went around on different forums asking people and fans whether or not they'd prefer if we made the Fallout logo name or Vault Boy into a custom shaped flash drive and well, as you can see, Vault Boy clearly won! After we manufactured the USBs and posted pictures online, the attention and feedback we received was incredible. We received a large amount of likes, shares and love from fans, gamers and non-gamers alike. We even had someone on Facebook tell us to "shut up and take their bottle caps" - Fallout video game currency!
You too can generate the same feedback we experienced with our Vault Boy flash drive. Already have an iconic brand mascot or image of your own? Why not bring it to life and put it in the hands of your current or future potential clients? Why not create a bigger impact and increase brand recognition by personifying the thing that'll be representing you and your business time and time again?