In 2004, the company decided to renew the Devils franchise, but gave the character a softer look and feel. Out went envy; he now talked about nothing but the truth. But there was a problem. Bereft of envy, the Devil didnt amount to much. Also, the category discourse has evolved, especially in the light of the aggressive, featureand technology-driven hardsell of rival brands led by chaebols LG and Samsung.
In that sense the Devil had become something of a blind spot; which is probably why it is talking about a new campaign sans the Devil and the envy. One may argue that Onida is treading a difficult path, and that mascots bring brands to life. But Onida is definitely not the first to take that risk. Take Ronald McDonald. His first TV appearance in the early sixties as the gleeful clown was portrayed by none other than Willard Scott. Since then, Ronald has gone through several incarnations. Today, Ronald McDonald is seen prancing around as a snowboarding, soccer-playing clown in a form-fitting jumpsuit. Then there is the case of the chubby and balding English butler, the face of Ask Jeeves Inc for nearly a decade, which was ousted in a corporate takeover, when InterActiveCorp bought Ask Jeeves in 2005.
Mascots are mortal.