Crestline Custom Promotional Products conducted a study to determine the product/brand mascot consumers recognize most.

From ASI’s Christopher Ruvo

KFC’s Colonel Sanders. McDonald’s Ronald McDonald. The Geico Gecko.

What do these popular brand mascots have in common?

While highly memorable, they weren’t recognized quite as often as America’s most memorable mascot: The Starbucks Mermaid.

All that’s according to Crestline Custom Promotional Products’ new study on product mascots – the results of which marketing and branding professionals might well find interesting.

According to the study, 95.6% of the 1,630 U.S. residents that Crestline surveyed correctly identified the green, two-tailed Starbucks Mermaid. That allowed the logo to edge out the other four most memorable mascots, which were Colonel Sanders (95.1%), the Geico Gecko (93%), M&M’s “spokecandies” (92.7%) and Ronald McDonald (91.6%).

“Mascots give brands warmth and personality. They become touchstones that we recognize, like and trust,” said Crestline, which is a division of Top 40 distributorship Geiger (asi/202900).

Of course, not all mascots hit the mark or age well. For instance, the study found that Mr. Mucus by Mucinex is the least likeable, most annoying and creepiest mascot – yikes! Meanwhile, the Keebler elves are fading fast. As Crestline points out, there’s a huge “recognition gap” between older and younger Americans when it comes to the Keebler crew: Only 37.5% of Gen Z members recognize the elves, while 95.2% of Baby Boomers do.

Some other fun findings? Survey respondents collectively opined that the Brawny Man is “sexier” than Mr. Clean and other male mascots – save for Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”, who was voted sexiest male mascot. Meanwhile, the Gecko edged out Progressive’s Flo and others in a battle to see which insurance mascot is most popular.

For the full results, head here.