And then there were five. Trucking Moves America Forward, in collaboration with Pilot Flying J, has narrowed the list of possible names for the industry’s new mascot to five. According to a report by the Knoxville News Sentinel, the official mascot of the trucking industry group was unveiled on May 19. The task of naming the mascot was then opened up to a contest.
The top 5 names have been selected and people can vote for their favorite at truckingmovesamerica.com/mascot. The choices for the wide-eyed blue and white truck with the red cap are: Wheels, Seymour S. Miles, Safety Tammy, Bob Tail and Axle. The winning name will be announced at the Great American Trucking Show.
The move to have a mascot to represent the trucking industry is in line with creating an image that would remind people of the importance of the industry to society, but done in a light-hearted and upbeat manner. True to its name, Trucking Moves America Forward believes that trucking helps move America forward literally and figuratively. If not for trucks, there will be less movement of goods that sustain everyday lives.
The decision for Trucking Moves America Forward to have a mascot is also consistent with a minor trend occurring in brands today. Mascots are perceived as part of the effort to present a positive public image of the brand. While this group already has its designated spokesperson is various events, having a mascot to accompany spokespeople gives the American trucking industry a cheerful outlook. It evokes a happy and accommodating image that many do not often associate with the trucking industry.
In an era of direct response marketing that often occurs online, the offline aspect of creating a positive image for a cause-oriented group like Trucking Moves America Forward was also addressed. According to Michal Clements of ChicagoNow.com, brand mascots have become reliable promotional tools when used in interaction and social media. It also projects a child-friendly image. A mascot is more likely to present the company as accommodating and approachable when seen at high profile events plugged on its official website and social media accounts.
And most folks thought that mascots are only in the realm of kid-friendly industries. With mascots, even the under-reported industry of trucking in the United States is given a child-friendly facade ready to help everyone spread the positive attributes of the industry.
Trucking has become the go-to industry when it comes to logistics and freight. With more people engaged in wholesale and retail, the demand for trucking services to deliver products in bulk is at an all-time high, with approximately 80% of all freight in the U.S. moved by truck.
In keeping with the community aspect of the industry, Trucking Moves America Forward wanted to include everyone who supports the cause to participate in the naming of the mascot. The organization states that it does not take sole ownership of the mascot and considers the trucking community as its collective set of parents.