Fictional Characters Make the Best Salesmen

What is the first image to enter your mind when you think of Old Spice?  If your answer is a face, or a scantily dressed attractive man, you’re among many, including myself.  This campaign is a prime example of how to successfully create and use fictional characters to sell your brand.  These characters become the face and voice through which your business acquires and interacts with your prospective fans, followers, and customers across multiple mediums.

What would the face of your brand look like?  What kind of face and personality is going to appeal to your target audience?  Try to look at your company through the eyes of your next prospective customer.  What do you have to offer that he or she needs?  What  qualities would your brand exude as a person that would draw people to you?

This is How They Did it…

The characters of the Old Spice Campaigns each encompass a unique persona based on the featured collection of scents he personifies.  Isaiah Mustafa personified several archetypes that dwell within the fantasies of women, based on the premise that he is the “man that their man could smell like”.  Terry Hess personifies strength, girth and power based on the scent, “Danger Zone”, which appeals to young, adolescent boys and men who desire to posses more testosterone driven qualities.  He is someone that could offer insight or advice to the audience on how to exude or at least smell like power.

Once your personas are established, make them tangible to your audience.  Give him or her a Facebook page, Twitter account, and send your emails from this persona.  Part of what made the Old Spice Campaign a success was the extension of these ad personas across multiple mediums, allowing people to connect with the the characters on a personal level.

How Can You Apply it to Your Brand?

So what products or services do you offer that you could personify?  How many different types of people could benefit from what you have to offer, and what personality would appeal to them?  Is this personality someone like your audience, or someone they’d want to look up to, or a simply a mysterious figure that intrigues them?  How can you apply this concept to suit your own marketing needs?

Tell us in the comments section!

56 Comments
  • Spider Pc

    What exactly are elements of literature?

    June 17, 2013 Reply
  • Scott Bull

    I’m giving a presentation on this short story to my Non-Western politics class and I need a way to reference it non-western politics. Also, I have read it three time and still barely understand it so an opinion or two on its interpretation would be greatly appreciated
    Sorry but neither one of those websites was any help at all.

    June 17, 2013 Reply
  • Lasagna delivery guy

    Why, Why not?

    June 17, 2013 Reply
  • Miguel M

    “Fiction does retain the occasional surprising ability to initiate social change. . On the opening night of “Death of a Salesman,” the head of Gimbel’s department store rushed from the theater vowing not to fire his own aging Willy Lomans.”

    June 17, 2013 Reply
  • Squall Leonhart

    Did you know that the only rainforest in North America is not located in Hawaii but in Washington State?

    If someone tells you, you can never consume too much vitamins, they are wrong. Too much Vitamin A can be toxic because it’s fat soluable. That’s why Escamo’s cannot enjoy polar bear liver.

    Eating too much beta-carotene (contained in carrots) can turn a baby orange!

    The male Lyrebird, for his mating call, mimics sounds. This includes mating songs from other birds, to chainsaws, car engines and car alarms, fire alarms, rifle-shots, camera shutters, dogs barking and crying babies!

    June 18, 2013 Reply
  • everydayGuitarist

    I am going on a camping trip this weekend and am looking for a good book. My last two books I read were mysteries written by Agatha Christie. So, I am ready to take a break from mystery. Some people say Heart of Darkness is an instant classic. Others say it is boring and difficult to understand. Thoughts?

    June 18, 2013 Reply
  • Michael K

    I just wanted to know why you think people get so attached to fictional characters (i.e Twilight/Harry Potter? Does that annoy you to, or is it just me? And why do you think they are so emotionally attached?

    June 18, 2013 Reply
  • Alina Elliott

    Well yea,

    Thanks for the all the answers in advance.
    I’m just wondering this could be to either fictional characters from movies or books?

    Thanks tell me what you know all answers/opinions about this subject are appreciated
    Thanks.

    June 19, 2013 Reply
    • Chris Florence

      No, just get creative with your own ideas. You don’t want to get sued.

      June 19, 2013 Reply
  • LN13

    For my A level art i have to become a character, or filmstar and take staged pictures telling a story to do with that character which i then have to produce a painting from…stuck on ideas as to a good celeb or fictional character to be..what character/celeb would you be?

    June 21, 2013 Reply
  • lucasg615

    “lets say somone created a theory there was this big love crafty being live at the heart of the moon and his name is Lunos and he watches us with his giant telescopic lens and he watches all us if he see’s we are doing the magical moon dance then he sends magical moon beams of happiness,joy,love,….Whats Would you think of a person who would believe that yu thinkt hey would be ****** crazy or nuts?! yea you would because that is crazy….but what if a billion people believed it?! it would still be crazy…the fact of the matter is there no evidence for this lunos character same goes for this god character….which is equally preposterous…at least lunos is looking at a telescope god just has eyes EVERYWHERE at least Lunos is living in the moon god just lives in Heaven where the F is that?!?! i never seen this heaven ****….heaven just meant sky in ancient times ”

    June 21, 2013 Reply
  • ericmreitz

    Hi! I watched the movie “Big Fish” recently, and am amazed by it. This movie is really positive, and does show that with a positive outlook, and creativity, anyone’s life can be like a fairy tale. Unfortunately, I cannot grasp this idea, that the user “DaDudeAbides” from imdb.com suggested. Here’s the link to his interpretation, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0319061/board/thread/124889299?d=125550506&p=1#125550506

    Anyways, how has this movie affected you? Even though it is beautiful, it still comes of as fictional to me in an everyday basis, than something an average person can achieve. Also, what was the point of glamorizing his life story, by adding mermaids, and catching a big fish? How would you change your life, to be more like Edward Bloom? Any suggestions to other who might want to change their life to be like him?

    I myself am a big dreamer, and do have a hard time concentrating in Technical school, where I am currently under average, and a struggling student. Edward Bloom’s carefree lifestyle might have been possible back in the day, but in today’s generation, is not very efficient. This is shown when banks where developed in that small happy go lucky town, and everyone got broke. It’s amazing how a traveling salesman could buy an entire town. After High School, my parents forced me into a program in a technical institute, where I am enrolled. It is only for my future, as Industrial Instrumentation is a big field with lot’s of money. Should I have just left High School, did a part time job, and explored Canada, to understand life better, instead of going to a post-secondary without much knowledge or interest in the program I am enrolled in? After all, I do not know what I am good in, or interested in. I don’t know how young Edward moved on in life without any future goals, or a career choice. He just kept moving on, where life took him, with sheer optimism, which is rare, and yet amazing. Why then, was he willing to give his life to the giant somewhere in the beginning?

    I apologize if my writing is too long, as many do not like to read a lot. I am curious, and would like if someone shed some light to my questions. Thank you very much for bearing with me. No idiotic answers, spam, or stupid responses, please.

    June 21, 2013 Reply
  • Marlon P

    I mean, seriously. He is damn sexy, hilarious, and so sweet. He is, like, the perfect man. It’s just too bad he’s fictional.

    June 22, 2013 Reply
  • ibjammin44

    I believe that we can achieve anything we decide. I hate quitting.
    But sometimes that belief can get me attached to a goal or a purpose that may not be worth the effort.
    So is it better to quit sometimes or the whole “It’s not worth it” story is just another excuse?

    June 23, 2013 Reply
  • diggn4richez

    I would like information about Arthur Miller’s life that is related to the storyline, characters, and/or themes? THANKS SO MUCH.
    ex)Maybe his father was delusional also? He cheated on his wife himself?etc?

    June 28, 2013 Reply
  • Ramblin Spirit

    Whenever I read a book or watch a show with my favorite characters if something bad happens; I can’t just shrug it off. I feel really bad afterwards. In Return of the Joker, when Robin was tortured by the Joker; I cried. In the middle of a good book I become really angry at the characters when they make a stupid decison, and or I can’t fell really happy when they’ve accomplished something. What is it about characters and authors, that can touch human emotionals and the soul so deep? Why do we all fell, sometimes, like these fictional characters are part of us?

    June 28, 2013 Reply
    • Shayla Hood

      It means that the character was written with authenticity and in such a way that you were able to connect with these characters – so much so that you became emotionally invested in their story. All fictional characters are rooted in the human experience – which we all share (even with well constructed fictional people occasionally because we can relate to them).

      June 30, 2013 Reply
    • Fancy Grace Pimberton

      What would be the best way to get your company’s/brand’s fictional persona more exposure to the public and to your client base and your potential client base? Also what is the best way to launch and promote a viral advertisement campaign?

      June 30, 2013 Reply
      • Social media and YouTube for sure. What is your fictional persona or do you have one? For your current client base, email or a contest involving the persona. Make it fun for sure.

        July 1, 2013 Reply
  • dubmecrazy3

    I don’t get it there called fictional characters for a reason. I hear everyone saying that the cast of movie and shows aren’t right. I get so irritated we they whine that the actors and actresses aren’t right. Why do people do this? Do they really expect these fictional characters to be real?

    June 29, 2013 Reply
    • Shayla Hood

      An effective actor/actress brings a tangible quality to the 2 dimensional character they portray. Any literate person can read lines and follow stage blocking/choreography, etc. But an actor/actress’s job is to make the audience care about the character as though they are real – even fictional characters are somewhat rooted in reality, and people connect with and root for other people–provided they feel authentic enough for us to care about them.
      Otherwise, we remain indifferent and complain about the casting director who dropped the ball.

      June 30, 2013 Reply
  • Sergeant Pickle

    i need some horror trivia questions…with the answers

    June 30, 2013 Reply
  • Mark M

    I am looking to write an essay about a contemporary fictional character that my audience would be able to relate to and guess who I am describing just by reading my descriptions. If anyone could be of any help, that’d be wonderful, thanks!

    June 30, 2013 Reply
  • nathan

    I have created this fictional character who is currently (in 2011) 19 years old, and single. He is worth 54 billion dollars, and makes about 10 million dollars a year. He owns 30 billion in real estate. He donates half of his income and lends 10% of his property to charities. He lives in South Carolina (although he has some property elsewhere). How much would he owe/receive when he files his taxes?

    June 30, 2013 Reply
  • Duke

    Beyond the appealing characteristics of the fictional character, what psychological problems could lead to an unhealthy love or obsession for a fictional person?

    July 1, 2013 Reply
  • Vultre9

    I came across a man the other day and he strongly believes that you shouldn’t let your children believe in fictional characters. His poor kid didn’t believe in anything. In my opinion I think that he has robbed this poor kid of his childhood. Threes nothing like the magic of believing in something fantastic. Whats your opinion?

    July 2, 2013 Reply
  • Michael

    At my camp we have fictional character day. You can be any fictional character. I need an idea of what me and my friend should go as. were both girls.

    July 2, 2013 Reply
  • Pacman

    I was reminded tonight of an article I read in Flavorpill last March titled “10 Fictional Characters People Need to Stop Idolizing,” and am curious to know your thoughts on it and other overhyped characters. In the post’s preface they wrote, “We all need idols, and considering how central books, film, and TV can be to our lives, it makes sense that so many of us count fictional characters among our role models. But not every charismatic protagonist is an Atticus Finch — or even a Leslie Knope. We take a lighthearted look at some of the outsize personalities that never should have become cult heroes or objects of popular worship. These aren’t villains we relish for their cartoonish evil, but irreparably flawed (and sometimes downright sociopathic) characters people think are cool and/or strive to emulate.” The characters they listed are: Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver), Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s), Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye), Carrie Bradshaw (Sex in the City), Alex (A Clockwork Orange), Liz Lemon (30 Rock), Withnail (Withnail and I), Stephen Dedalus (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), Scarlett O’Hara (Gone with the Wind), and Don Draper (Mad Men).

    1. Do you agree with their list?
    2. Who do you think are the most overhyped fictional characters?
    3. Who do you think are the most underrated fictional characters?
    4. What historical icons and figures are undeserving of their celebration, and which ones deserve more recognition?

    Totally Unrelated Bonus Question: If you could rename one day of the week what would you rename it? The only rule is that it has to end in day.
    BilletDouxDay – the day you spend writing love letters (real letters, on paper with a pen) and eating fairy bread while dressed like a “Pride and Prejudice” character.
    Yessss.

    July 2, 2013 Reply
  • thinkthought

    It can be a human you saw in real life, a youtube video of someones pet a fictional character from a novel or television programme, even a piece of fanart. Just as long as it caused you enough WAFF to melt your heart. Post links if you want.

    My personal fave is Butters stotch from south park. Serioulsy naive and adorable personality makes you just want to hug him.

    July 2, 2013 Reply
  • ademuth93

    I know it could possibly happen with enough write-in votes, but how would the presidency work with a fictional character in the Oval Office? Would there be someone else pulling the strings or what? I’ve wondered about this for some time now.

    July 2, 2013 Reply
  • Ramblin Spirit

    So I’ve been practicing lucid dreaming, I’m not that good at it yet, but I hope to get better. Anyway, one thing I’ve always wanted to do is meet and have a conversation with a fictional character in a lucid dream. Firstly, is it even possible to speak to a character and have them act exactly like themselves? And how would one go about doing it? I’m assuming you would try getting yourself in a location where that character would be and then walking around a corner, but I’m not experienced enough yet to be certain.

    Thank you so much!

    July 3, 2013 Reply
  • Gundown64

    I seriously cannot think of any anime, cartoon, or any fictional characters for that matter that are stronger.

    July 8, 2013 Reply
  • toysruslover

    so what do you think. is it bad or wrong to sexually fantasize about fictional characters such as people from video games or animated moves or cartoons. so let me know your opinions and reasons for why you think its bad or wrong or if its perfectly normal.

    July 8, 2013 Reply
  • Scorch Delta-62

    I’ve read that people send letters to Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as to Juliet, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Are there other examples of fictional characters who receive letters addressed to them? Which ones?

    July 8, 2013 Reply
  • gail C

    Okay, I’m going to do a roleplay (online) soon, and I require the best font color for these fictional characters:

    1. Andrew Ryan (Bioshock)

    2. Bridgett Tenenbaum (Bioshock)

    3. Little Sister (Bioshock)

    4. Big Daddy (Bioshock)

    I currently can’t think of anything else, but a good example is how Spiderman’s font is usually red due to his costume color.

    July 8, 2013 Reply
  • Alun J

    I have created a story with 3 main fictional characters that i wish to copyright and have the rights to produce a comicbook and a film to sell and distribute in the USA. I need to know the steps to register the characters and the story so I have the rights or I can sell the rights for production of a movie, comicbook, tv series, etc. in the US. Also to be able to sell merchandise or give rights to licencees to manufacture products. I do not live in the USA.

    July 8, 2013 Reply
  • Scorch Delta-62

    I’ve created a clothing line that uses fictional characters to convey concepts/ideas. The problem is the characters are drawn and have traits but they don’t quite have a storyline. I’m not a writer, and all I can think to do is give them names and where they are from. What steps should I take to give them a body and personality? It’s especially important because no one will understand my shirts if they have no idea what the characters represent. HELP!!!!

    July 8, 2013 Reply
  • white man

    In other words if I’m dating this guy…I will try to see how much he matches up to this fictional character that I like.
    I’m not talking about comparing them to celebrities either, I’m talking about FICTIONAL completely fictional characters.

    July 8, 2013 Reply
  • Dark_LovexXx

    Like Superman, Hercules, etc. I’m writing an essay and trying to find a list of fictional characters from anytime in history that have overcome their “Daddy issues”
    Love it. Keep them coming please.

    July 11, 2013 Reply
  • Daniel

    Why should the readers connect with fictional characters when they read a story?

    I have a couple of reasons, but more would be appreciated.

    1) It will help the reader understand the story in better context
    2) Let the reader see the moral/lesson of the story.

    July 13, 2013 Reply
  • Xavier Hawthorne

    Especially girls, and especially vampire fictional characters.
    i can’t STAND IT any more!
    If i hear about vampire diaries one more time i’m going to break!
    I don’t care if it’s something i could say to snap her out of it, or just be so mean that it wold give me satisfaction, i just need *some* defense against this imbecile “handsome charming vampire” flood.

    July 13, 2013 Reply
  • David

    My sister has posters of fictional characters over her wall. I told her she is committing adultery in her heart. Even worse the character was not even human. One of this silly animé characters and some star trek characters. I think one was Spock who looks like demon. I told her this is an even greater sin because they are not human and therefore it is perverse and immoral. She has committed two sins.

    Do you think I was correct to tell her this?

    July 13, 2013 Reply
  • zaclo

    Many users have the facebook logo in their avatars. Is that avatar coming from facebook and is Yahoo allowing people to display the copyrighted facebook logo?

    July 13, 2013 Reply
  • mr flibble

    Facebook is nice to keep in contact with others, but I notice that some people spend many hours updating their statuses and checking in on the lives of others and trying to keep up with the Jones’s so to speak via facebook. In your opinion would you say that facebook takes your focus off of God? Should good christians have facebook accounts? And what purpose does facebook serve to the serious christian.

    July 18, 2013 Reply
  • rndmaktn

    What are the popular fictional Characters from books ? For Children. I need atleast 4 to 5 characters from fictional books. Thank You.

    July 28, 2013 Reply
  • stealspartansbcglobalnet

    Would it make you uneasy if, hypothetically speaking, they put lucky, the talking trix rabbit, and count chocula on one super cereal box? What if you couldn’t prove their existence, would it offend your ‘good taste’ to look at them for very long? Or does that only matter when people ask you to take these fictional characters seriously-

    July 29, 2013 Reply
  • colingrillo

    So what fictional characters can you name, literary, cinema, stage or TV that had a stutter?

    August 10, 2013 Reply
  • lucasg615

    I know you can protect your name and likeness, but can you do of a fictional character that you’ve been closely associated with?

    August 10, 2013 Reply
  • Mike

    I asked the quesiton yesterday if fictional characters did exist and received quite a few responses on the lines of NO. So, if we know a fictional character does not exist, how do we know about it at all?

    August 10, 2013 Reply
  • Rkmc

    I want to know your opinions of getting readers “emotionally attached” to a fictional character. For example, you read an interesting book that draws you in. Later on throughout the story one of the main characters die. Of coarse, this makes you sad when reading it. This happened to me a few times. One of the books was called “Where the Red Fern Grows”. Well, anyways if you are able to answer my question I would appreciate it.
    Sorry for making an error in the title.

    August 11, 2013 Reply
  • Spider Pc

    My flat-mate needs to complete an assignment where she is required to carry out a complete psychological assessment on a fictional character in a film, TV series or novel. I was at a loss for suggestions and am looking to the awesome answers community for input.

    Please do not suggest Dexter, or House those were suggested in class and so I am sure many members in her class will choose either of those characters.

    August 11, 2013 Reply
  • kiltakblog

    I have a problem. I can not get over fictional characters’ deaths. Whilst watching Harry Potter, whenever I see James or Lily or Quarrel or Cedric or Barty Crouch or Barty Crouch Junior or Sirius or Dumbledore or Hedwig or Moody or Remus or Tonks or Fred or Dobby or Bellatrix or Snape or Harry or Voldemort or any of the others, I get all sad and teary-eyed. My friends understand the ones like Sirius and Lupin, but they don’t understand why I get upset about the villains’ deaths. I think that they all deserve to be mourned; is that bad?

    August 11, 2013 Reply
  • Xedo

    I am looking to write an essay about a contemporary fictional character that my audience would be able to relate to and guess who I am describing just by reading my descriptions. If anyone could be of any help, that’d be wonderful, thanks!

    August 21, 2013 Reply
  • Malcolm Hudson

    Of all the fictional characters ever, which one do you most feel a special connection with? Why do you feel that you understand this character and that he/she/it is a lot like you? I’m just curious. 🙂

    August 24, 2013 Reply
  • SKATEskum

    I very rarely am attracted to actual people. The last time I had a crush was two years ago and it lasted for only like 5 hours. I think I identify as an aromantic asexual but the problem is that I’m actually always attracted to fictional characters. My friend said that this is a mental problem/disorder though.
    Like I know it’s normal for many to be attracted to fictional characters, but for me, it’s sort of excessive.

    August 28, 2013 Reply
  • stingerms

    Name the fictional character and what type of food they would serve there. Do it now!

    August 30, 2013 Reply

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