Someone above mentioned the Energizer bunny. This is an excellent example of how a successful mascot can be created for a pre-existing product. The Energizer bunny succeeded for a few reasons:
- it was cute (like most Linux mascots)
- It was funny (again, like most Linux mascots)
- It wasn't a cartoonized version of the product itself (they were selling batteries but their mascot was a bunny!)
- It did something that indirectly demonstrated the product in action (i.e. the bunny itself was powered by batteries)
- It had a memorable catch-phrase (that was verbalized by a narrator rather than by the bunny itself!)
- Perhaps most interestingly, it was an overt parody of a competitor's mascot (believe it or not, there once was a Duracell bunny. True story!)
So the marketing company was really clever in how they approached the problem. What lessons can we draw here for Linux Mint? A good mascot would be:
- Cute and funny
- Not anything directly to do with mint plants. Maybe not even green-coloured!
- Somehow evocative of the attributes we want to stress about Linux Mint (ease of use? stability? friendly community?)
As for parodies, I don't actually recommend parodying anyone. But we've probably all seen that hilarious image of Tux holding a fly swatter as the Windows butterfly flies by... LOL. That's how a parody could work.