Corporate Mascot Costumes
We are the heart and soul of the corporation, the carrier of its banners, the lovable face to the masses. Just repeat that whenever you feel silly.Just because they are soulless monuments to greed and excess, fueled by misery and crushing dehumanization, doesn't mean corporations can't be fun. And what's more fun than a mascot? At least, that's been the theory of marketing campaigns for as long as there's been marketing departments. Corporate mascots are cheerfully costumed entertainers, dressed in some facsimile of whatever they're trying to sell or promote, no matter how grim that happens to be. From mercenaries to cigarettes, from children's toys to bio-weapons, if it needs to be sold, there's a mascot made to sell it. Thousands of costumes have been invented throughout the ages, from Joe Camel to Rex the Raffleraptor, and thousands more have been abandoned to the gutters.
Hey kids! Don't forget - more is better, so always go for full auto!Corporate mascots vary wildly in appearance, depending on what they're trying to sell and who they're selling it to, but there are some trends. The most common form is some sort of anthropomorphic version of a product or logo, which is occasionally awkward, with exaggerated, friendly feature and bright colors. Good mascots have clear and ironic silhouettes, making them easy to recognize even at a distance or in poor conditions, and the best mascots make sure no one else has a silhouette anywhere near their likeness.
Like their appearance, the materials used vary, depending on the wealth of the corporation and the importance of the brand. Mascots of important brands with a history of profit are made from the latest polymers, smart-fabric, and whatever else R&D can dream up. Others might have to make do with cardboard and foam, held together by duct tape and sweaty desperation. Some few are forged from the very stuff of life itself, brewed up in the genetic-vats of corporations like Best Friends Forge. These clones are made from birth to look like the mascot, sometimes with some surgery to help things along the way. More budget-conscious corporations skip the middle man and just alter an existing employee until they look the part. Sometimes without even asking, but it was all in the EULA.
Of course, corps often make employees pay for the costume or surgery, deducted directly from their salary. And there's no getting off mascot duty until it's paid.
Though the decision of creating a new mascot lies almost entirely in the hands of a corporation's marketing department, it can envelop much of a corporation in a particularly mean-spirited hell. The more important the brand is, the more people need to sign off on its design and presentation until there's finally enough red tape to strangle the entire city. Everyone involved wants to put their own mark on the damn things, and every time someone changes their mind, or a detail doesn't work, the entire thing needs to be signed off by the entire chain again. Inevitably, the budget gets cut, or the CEO changes their mind somewhere along the line, and they have to do the whole thing over again... And again. Such a process can take years, but feels significantly longer for the poor bastards stuck with it.
Some managers only consider the process truly complete after at least one suicide or murder.The why of a new mascot usually comes down to some new marketing push. If a brand has gotten stale, can't seem to reach 'the kids', or whatever the marketing department needs to look like they're doing something, that's a good excuse to create a new mascot. Though the design principles of creating a memorable mascot have long been enshrined into the mascoteers lore, there's always that guy who thinks he knows better and can think of something totally new. Every time, the wheel gets reinvented. With all that, both corporations and people tend to get attached to their creations.
Mascots & Megacorpolis
Hate all you like. Hate is better than apathy. It means you're paying attention.The average citizen is split on mascots. Many recognize them as little more than cynical marketing ploys at best to the manifestation of everything wrong with the world at worst... But on the other hand, that one mascot is pretty funny and did do those cool ads that one time. Corporate drones are, by their employment contract, expected to love and cherish any and all mascots created by the corporation, and have little choice. This has been known to lead to particularly severe cases of Stockholm Syndrome, especially among workers directly involved mascot design process. Every now and then, a mascot design clicks with the public and becomes icons of their own rights. Fandoms spring up around these lucky few, obsessively cataloging every little thing about them and every appearance they've ever made in any product or engage in petty feuds about the same. Fanfic authors sharpen their pens and duel it out across the internet, while glory and promotion go to the designer of such a success - or more likely, their manager. Corps often try to 'seed' these sorts of reactions with employees or bots faking the same sort of enthusiasm, but that never goes well.
Popular mascots can become brands all of their own, fronting lucrative computer games, TV shows, sponsored products, and the rest - everything from clothes to bullets comes with a mascot's face plastered over it.On the other hand, malcontents, rebels, and anti-corpers of all types almost universally hate mascots with a passion forged from a thousand pop-up ads. Any time there's any sort of attack or terrorist action, mascots know they better hide.
Behind the Mask
I hate, hate, hate my job.Behind the foam and forced smiles, the life of a mascot employee is a stressful one. They're almost always in contact with potential consumers as a public symbol of a brand or corporation. Their presence invites the attention of everything from live-streaming trouble-makers to the rabid fans of a rival mascot. Even on a good day, they're surrounded by people who are at best indifferent, stuck in a suffocating suit, and on their feet for most of the day. And those are the lucky ones.
Every scrape and bump to a costume comes right out of the employee's paycheck, too.
To add to their misery, many corps seem to at once care nothing for supporting their mascots yet micromanage everything about them. Others care too much, to the point where some mascot-wearing employees have been known to just freeze on the spot rather than risk doing something that 'the mascot character wouldn't do'. Some citizens like to make a game of it, poking and prodding at a mascot just to see how they'll break... And how bad.
Incidentally, many mascot employees carry firearms.Most come to loath the mascot they play, or even all mascots in general. Turn-over, when allowed by their corporate overlords, is furious and dropping out of mascot work can remain a black mark on a worker's resume for years.
Mascot TrainingWhile most employees suit up with little more than a pamphlet and a vague idea of what they're supposed to do, others go through a grueling training regiment by corps that obsess over their mascots every detail. These sorts of courses are typical for mascots with a long history (or a pushy CEO with 'a vision'), where a template has been set and perfected across decades. The corps know exactly what they want and how to beat into any employees strapping on the suit for the first time.
'Adding your own flair' is grounds for immediate termination, sometimes literally.Survivors often display quirks and ticks of their mascot persona even off-duty, and sometimes for years after they've been assigned to other work.
Corpers & MascotryAmong all of Megacorpolis many self-destructive amalgamations, none might be quite as bad as Corper and mascot costumes. Born and bred in corporate colors, Corper families of mascot-wearers take their obsessive loyalty to their corporate-parent and pour it whole-heartedly into their craft. They live and breathe their mascot every minute of every day, blurring the line between themselves and the role they play. It's been compared to a cult, but that sort of devotion is something a cult could only dream of.
MascotphiliaIf it exists, there's money to be made by making porn of it. Corporations have known for decades, seeing what happens to popular video game or movie characters on the internet, and have stopped pretending they are any better. Everything from your own personal suit for 'recreational use' to pornography animated or real is for sale in the small but fervent fandoms. Sinners Syndicated even operates brothels staffed exclusively by mascot-suit wearing employees. The corps whose mascots are being impersonated are less than pleased about it, if only because they weren't first.
As with all things mascot, good taste and quality are optional.
Happiness Is MandatorySometimes the Mascot isn't there for the consumer, but for the workers. When the workdays get long and the fourth month of overtime rolls around, tempers start to flare, and some genius thought the best way to fix that was an inspiration mascot. Yes, there's nothing workers like more after another grueling 16-hour shift spent chained to their desk or slowly suffocating in meetings than a bunch of singing mascots. For this reason, many mascots work in "mobile motivation platforms", known better as Mandatory Happiness Mobiles. These vehicles travel between corporate sites to spread cheer, corporate jingles, and motivational posters to encourage workers. Should that fail, they also carry an arsenal of potent chemicals.
Mandatory Happiness Mobile
Vehicle | Nov 14, 2020
Mandatory Happiness Mobiles bring joy to the working force, whether they like it or not.