Ticket industry mascots: toast and talking trees Ticket industry mascots: toast and talking trees
Mascots have been around for a long time in all types of industries, but they recently entered a new arena: the ticketing industry. The... Ticket industry mascots: toast and talking trees

Mascots have been around for a long time in all types of industries, but they recently entered a new arena: the ticketing industry. The secondary-ticket website StubHub recently unveiled an animatronic talking tree with tickets for leaves called the “Ticket Oak” in television commercials and the second largest secondary-ticket site, Ticket Liquidator, recently unveiled its own mascot, a talking piece of toast named “Toastie,” in a YouTube commercial about March Madness.

The Ticket Oak was designed by San Francisco advertising firm Duncan/Channon while Toastie was developed in-house at Ticket Liquidator last year as an extension of Ticket Liquidator’s blog, “Live Toast.”

“We really wanted to do something different,” said Ian Hough, Ticket Liquidator’s Affiliate Program Manager who is also the voice of Toastie. “The talking toast character is an embodiment of our Live Toast blog: fun, unique, and a little bit irreverent.”

In a March 25, 2012 article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Knights, Pirates, Trees flock to FaceBook,” Duncan/Channon describes how mascots interact differently with consumers through social media.

“You can put fairly bald product benefits into the mouth of a mascot and it doesn’t come off as hard sell,” said Parker Channon, partner at Duncan/Channon.

Mascots have traditionally been part of many campaigns in a variety of industries, like Tony the Tiger, who was popularized by Kellogg Co. in the 1950’s, but Toastie and Ticket Oak both represent some of the first mascots seen in the ticketing industry. Research of top primary ticketing sites like Ticketmaster and Live Nation, as well as other top secondary ticket sites reveal no mascots on any of the websites.

The only other ticket site with a mascot is RazorGator, but while there is a logo, there is no video or use of social media with an animated gator mascot. There is, however, a “Gator on a Stick” link, which takes you to a PDF that you can download and cut out to bring to an event.

Social media has really changed the way fans and consumers interact with companies’ characters. While StubHub first introduced the Ticket Oak in television commercials, they have also dedicated a Facebook page to the Ticket Oak, where the Ticket Oak answers users’ questions in character.

When asked if his tickets fall off in the winter, the Ticket Oak responded, “I’ve been told I’m a ‘seasonal’ oak. My tickets do fall out, but there are always new ones growing in to keep my canopy nice and full.” While the Ticket Oak Facebook page has 488 friends, there is currently no dedicated Ticket Oak Twitter account due to marketing budget constraints, says StubHub.

“We are still looking at Twitter but it’s a 24/7 medium that needs dedicated resources,” said Michael Lattig, StubHub’s head of brand, according to the Wall Street Journal article.

In the case of Ticket Liquidator’s Toastie character, he grew out of the Ticket Liquidator blog, where he offered “The Weekly Toast,” a wrap-up of the week’s news. Toastie recently made his debut on YouTube with a video on “Ticket Liquidator’s Three Greatest Games in NCAA History.” Toastie is now on Live Toast’s YouTube channel TL Tickets, and there are plans to develop more videos.

“We hope to have a Facebook page up soon, as well as a Twitter account dedicated to Toastie,” said Hough. “We are excited to differentiate ourselves from other ticket sites and look forward to developing our character further.”

Ticket Liquidator, LLC runs the website ticketliquidator.com for TicketNetwork and is an entity whose sole member is TicketNetwork, Inc. TicketNews is a subsidiary of TicketNetwork, Inc.