The Noid is back as a nemesis mascot for Domino’s Pizza and, if brands listen to what consumers want, it may soon have some company from other nostalgic characters.
A new Ad Age-Harris Poll survey found that 79% of American adults enjoy seeing brands use mascots. In the poll, 32% of respondents said they agreed that using mascots is an outdated practice, while 68% disagreed. Across all age groups, 69% of both men and women said they prefer brand mascots that were popular when they were children compared to the newer ones used today. Even among 18-to-34-year-olds—the youngest group surveyed—67% felt that way.
While the Noid’s return sparked memories for some, it’s less well known than some other mascots in the food industry.
According to the poll, 41% of respondents said they were aware of the Noid. That means Domino’s has 59% of the population to begin to annoy — um, gain attention from — with its red-suited villain who is out to thwart pizza deliveries. Gen Xers (52%) were the most likely to recall the Noid, followed by millennials (46%). Other mascots with higher recognition included Planters' Mr. Peanut (89%) and McDonald’s Hamburglar (84%). Mr. Peanut has been prominently featured in that brand’s marketing in recent years, while the Golden Arches hasn’t relied on the Hamburglar or its other characters for quite some time.
Respondents were asked which other retired brand mascots, if any, would they be interested in seeing return. Many people mentioned mascots that are still being used, perhaps suggesting that brands should consider making the appearance of characters more prominent in their marketing. The most popular response was Frosted Flakes’ Tony the Tiger.
Other mascots still in use and mentioned by multiple respondents as ones they’d like to see return included Green Giant’s Jolly Green Giant, Kool-Aid’s Kool-Aid man, the Lucky Charms leprechaun and the Pillsbury Doughboy.