The Korean mascot of Pyeonchang Olympic Winter Games 2018
The Greek mascot of Athen Olymic Summer Games 2004
The Olypmic Winter and Summer games are a big chance for every host country to show a newer, better, nicer side of itself and to initiate a big marketing mechanism.
An essential part of the marketing strategy is the mascot design.
The Olympic Winter Games 2018 in Pyeonchang, Korea, are the next Olypmic Games to come and the mascot design appears more and more in the public of Korea. For example at the Incheon Airport, in various shopping malls and events.
Each mascot design always has it lovers and haters, because it invites everyone to feel a certain way about it. Some may love the cuteness of a mascot, some might see their culture and tradition reflected in the mascot and some want to see the character of a modern sport event.
Therefore it is quite hard to please everyone.
For the Korean mascot of Pyeonchang it is a mixture of cuteness and culture. An Asiatic black bear and a white tiger. The two animals are rooted to the Korean myths. They are supposed to protect the people and have good spirits.
For detailed information see https://www.pyeongchang2018.com/en/pyeongchang2018/olympics/mascot/index
They might follow the same theme of the Chinese mascots, which were created for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics.
The mascots correspond to the five natural elements and to four popular animals in China. Each also bears a wish, as it was traditional in ancient Chinese culture to transmit wishes through signs or symbols.
Another quite intersting design were the mascots of Great Britain`s Olympic Summer Games in 2012, named Wenlock and Mandeville.
"Their skins are made of highly polished steel allowing them to reflect the personalities and appearances of the people they meet. Their one eye is a camera and on their heads are yellow lights symbolizing those of a London Taxi." So this type of mascot totally relates to the modern aspects of life. Despite that this design did not appeal to many people and got a lot of critizism. Therefore for most people the mascot should have a playful side and not too much .
In my opinion one of the big mistake you can do creating a mascot is to try to overload it with too many messages and symbols. This is what I think was the case with the Great Britain mascot.
The simpler a mascot is, the more it can leave space for each individual person to project their own imagination and feelings into the character. And that is what a "good" mascot is all about.
The Chinese mascot of Beijing Olypmic Summer Games 2008
The Great Britain mascot of London Olympic Summer Games 2012