Do you know who Max is?
Max is our bank’s mascot. A few years ago, we were trying to come up with some marketing plans for the future of the bank and we had noticed that some other banks and credit unions used a mascot. We wanted to be in the local parades and have something that the kids enjoyed seeing other than the employees just throwing out candy.
So, it was decided that we wanted to have a mascot but what should it be? Well we went back and forth with ideas, but we decided that with Maple City being in our name and it is the town’s nickname “Maple City” we should do something with the Maple Leaf design.
We looked online for design ideas and for companies that could possibly make the costume. Unfortunately, it was difficult to find something unique because of sports teams that had Maple Leaf in their name and when we reached out to the costume designers it was very, very expensive to have a costume made.
One of the employees started working on a design for the character and worked with other employees to make changes and come to a consensus of what Max would look like. Then we purchased a really big piece of foam and we drew out Max on a huge piece of paper. We cut out the design and laid it on the piece of foam and drew out the design on the foam.
Now comes the fun part – we then took an electric turkey carving knife and we cut out the drawing from the rest of the foam. We also had to cut out the eyebrows and the arm holes. The eyebrows are where the employee can see out and know where they are going. The arm holes allow for the employee to reach through and wave at the crowd (and keep it held up). Then we got some fabric from a store and we set to work cutting fabric to match the design for two sides. The pain staking part was then hand sewing the fabric together which took two employees working for about two weeks on and off to complete. We then cut out eyes, mouth and eyebrows from additional fabric and glued and sewed onto the front of the costume.
How were we going to hide the person who was going to stand behind the now mostly finished mascot? We ended up deciding to take the extra fabric we had left over and sew in a large pocket on the back of the costume so that a person could slide the costume over them and walk with it. Well, we are not that good at sewing, so we found a family member of one of the employees who was much better at it and she sewed on the pocket.
The last piece was finding the rest of the outfit for the costume. We found a pair of Sweatpants that matched the color of the fabric and then we found shoe coverings and gloves at the costume store. With everything ready an employee went out on the sidewalk and waved at people driving by to see what reaction we got. We got a lot of stares, some waving, and even some honking of car horns. Based on the responses it seemed our mascot was now ready.
We have now used the costume in multiple local parades, in marketing material, and even used him in material to discuss financial topics at schools with the kids. Many were excited to be able to tell about seeing the mascot and waving at him. The overall project was a big success and we hope Max will be around a long time waving to the kids and families of our local area.