Sweet C brand has received a strong reception in China and South-East Asia

Sweet C Sunny pouch

Sweet C mandarins from South Africa have been arriving in China accompanied by a new brand mascot telling the story of this brand and its fruit journey.

The mandarin brand has found traction in China and South-East Asia over the past three years with its bold consumer marketing campaigns and distinctive blue packaging. This season, shoppers were treated to an animated lemur character, named Sunny.

“Feedback from Chinese clients indicate that using the character as part of in-store promotions, and especially as a life-sized mascot, invites great interaction with children and their parents,” said Sweet C marketing manager Adéle Ackermann. “They say shoppers consequently also linger to taste the fruit.”

Ackermann said creating special characters or mascots is a well-known marketing strategy, welcomed and enjoyed by adults and children alike.

“In an environment where different messages compete against each other in often compact and busy spaces, a character draws attention, adds an element of fun, and provides the brand with a ‘spokesperson’. In a way, consumers have an emotional response to such a character and the brand it represents,” she explained.

Sunny the lemur was developed by Sweet C to have a personality and language of his own. 

“There’s such creative freedom that comes with a character. It can have its own language; and it can interpret the brand benefits or unique selling points through storytelling,” Ackermann said.

Consumers have come to know Sunny as boldly quirky and friendly, with a healthy appetite for citrus, according to Ackermann.

”Some retailers have taken the next step of creating mascot suits for promotors to be able to engage with shoppers – a move that has proven very successful with young and old alike. Another client mentioned that the placement of the character on packaging and marketing material arouses curiosity about its origin and relation to the brand and draws consumers in for a conversation,” she said.

“It is important to consider your consumer when developing such a character. Thorough research and concept testing will reveal what consumers in specific markets will relate to and what could miss the mark completely, or even be considered as offensive.”