Before anyone is mistakenly led to believe that Michael Caine (or Jude Law for the younger set) has become the spokesperson for Tampa-based MedVision, a medical consulting, healthcare planning, risk management, and wellness consulting firm for self-funded employer plan sponsors, neither are the Alfie’s to which I am referring.
Alfie, as it turns out is the affable character with a delightfully British accent whose short vignettes provide practical healthcare advice on everything from hospital staph infections to the “dirty magazines” in your doctor’s office.
The alter-ego of healthcare advocate and author of the critically acclaimed book “Navigating The Healthcare Maze” Jeff Knott, Alfie is rapidly gaining a strong following for his lighthearted and seemingly innocent play-on-words that is reminiscent of the Abbott and Costello “who’s on first” vaudevillian comedy routine.
Like MET Life’s Snoopy, Knott’s Alfie is making the kind of indelible impression that could very well lead to a ubiquitous fame that extends well beyond the brand it is promoting. “Just look at the Jolly Green Giant, the Pillsbury Doughboy, the M&M characters, Tony the Tiger or the Keebler Elves,” wrote Toons4biz’s David Thompson in his article on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Using a Cartoon Character to Promote Your Business.”
Interestingly enough, and whether or not it was intentional, Knott’s Alfie perfectly aligns with what Thompson referred to as the “Do’s” in terms of creating and presenting a “cartoon brand mascot” including:
- Do have a professional cartoonist/graphic designer develop it for you.
- Do make sure your cartoon advertising character is executed in a variety of poses so you can use him in a wide array of applications.
- Do make sure your cartoon advertising character reflects positive attributes: friendly, helpful, intelligent, likable and smart.
- Do use a brand mascot to differentiate your product, service or company in highly competitive markets that are price sensitive.
- Do use your brand mascot to build relationships with customers.
- Do use your brand mascot to educate, entertain and enlighten customers.
- Do make prominent use of your brand mascot.
- Do take the time to write a personality profile articulating the characteristics of your cartoon brand mascot. Write his life story. Tell your customers all about him. Flesh out his personality, and be sure he behaves consistently with who he/she is.
- Do give your cartoon character a challenge (i.e. Sonny goes cuckoo for Coco Puffs or the Trix Rabbit never gets to eat Trix.)
At the end of the day, both Knott and MedVision firmly believe that when it comes to questions about healthcare for you and your family, there is no one better to ask “what’s it all about . . . Alfie.”
Besides his already busy schedule, Jeff Knott makes regular monthly appearances as a guest expert discussing healthcare on the PI Window on Business Show’s Thought Leaders Series.
Remember to check out Jeff’s new “Quick Connect” website by clicking on the icon below.