The Forgotten Ones
These convenience store mascots dwell in the industry’s shadows. Will they ever find sponsor stores?
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
— Bob Dylan
Christmas is a time for celebration and the convenience store industry is no exception. Business booms during the holidays.
Unfortunately, there’s one group that won’t be warmed by the fires of Christmas Cheer this year. Born to be in the convenience store spotlight, these creatures have fallen through the cracks and currently dwell in the industry’s shadows.
We’re talking about the unaffiliated convenience store mascot; free agents that for one reason or another have failed to catch on with a sponsor store.
Honestly, they aren’t that far removed from the iconic, high profile mascots associated with gas stations and convenience stores, superstars like the Sinclair Dinosaur, the Buc-ee’s Beaver, Wawa’s Goose, the Kangaroo Express kangaroo, Lawson’s Karaage-kun (a walking box of fried chicken), the Couche-Tard Owl, and whatever this thing is.
So in the charitable spirit of the holiday, SSCS thought we’d spotlight four of these “mascots in limbo” to give them some exposure and open up potential opportunities for them. If you know a c-store brand that needs representation by what could be the next pop culture symbol, perhaps the following will be considered.
Chintzy the Elf
Quite honestly, we think Chintzy’s shtick and timing are a little bad. For one thing, elves are associated with Christmas, and a c-store probably wants more of an all-year-’round type of mascot. Plus the whole elves thing is kind of played out, full of popular players like Chewy, the Parker’s Elf, whom we interviewed a few years ago. Still, we wouldn’t give up on Chintzy yet. With the right direction, a new approach, and a little coaching…who knows how far he might go? Oh, and a new name might be a good idea, too.
Missy the Cat
For the life of us we can’t understand why Missy doesn’t generate more buzz. She’s charming, colorful, and isn’t far removed from some of the wonderful, successful mascots that currently live large in the diverse Asian marketplace.
And everybody loves cats, agreed?!
Problem is, she keeps getting told that she looks a little too goth, like she stepped out of “The Nightmare before Christmas” or something. Some stores pass on her citing they want something more distinctive. Others think she’s a little scary. Well, we think she’s plenty distinctive and very cute to boot! Give her a chance! We think she has a bright future.
Every interview that Skully accepts with a convenience store begins with the same two questions. “Why is the skull glowing?” and “Where is the rest of its body?” Interviewers look past everything else and that’s unfortunate because in addition to being beautifully designed, Skully is a true original that can clone itself at will—one for every store! Just think of the market distinction that might come from having a free-standing, sentient mascot floating around the store, keeping an eye on customers, tending to their needs, and tipping off the shift manager when something is amiss. You aren’t just getting a mascot with Skully, you’re getting an army of mascots! What could go wrong?!
Okay, Chibi Cthulhu (“C.C” for short) has a reputation as kind of a diva, and there are stories about it destroying property on a far more epic scale than, say, a rock band destroying a hotel room. But no one credible makes decisions based on rumors, right? If you want somebody that can represent your operation across the yawning gulfs of space and time, C.C. just might be your…er…thing. Talk about expanding your market!
Look, we know there’s probably some risk in hiring an entity so powerful, but C.C.’s ceiling is so, so high. We think that if you play your cards right, C.C. will have consumers not only favoring your store, but maybe even worshiping it, too! And if an owner fears that they’ll wake up one morning and find their store a smoking crater, we know a guy who knows a guy that can sell you some artifacts real cheap.
So as you ease into the Christmas holidays, and contemplate their true meaning, perhaps you will find fulfillment in helping open a door for these marginalized mascots with no long-term place to stay. You’ll be the better for it—unless (ahem) Chibi Cthulhu’s in a mood and pulls you down to R’lyeh Under the Sea.
But we wouldn’t worry about that. Really.