He dances. He jumps, giggles and give high fives. He goes around the entire area with the same level of high energy. He hugs everyone and that smile never leaves his face. He’s round and always jolly. He’s a bee but he’s red. And he doesn’t fly.
That would be the answer of my 4-year old son, delivered with a shout, a jump, a raised hand, a huge smile and a twinkle in his eyes.
The mascot of Jollibee, the largest fastfood company in the Philippines, is a livewire bee. Yes, McDonald’s seems to be the preferred fast food for the members of the upper socio-economic bracket, but Jollibee is bigger than McDonalds in the Philippines.
More importantly, my kid – and many other kids for that matter – love the round bee than Ronald. I’ve read an article about babies and kids having a preference for round-shaped objects and it’s no wonder that Mickey Mouse is, well, round and plump.
I’ve seen the Jollibee mascot countless of times in the countless children’s parties I’ve attended, four of which are for my son. The mascot, even if from different stores, seems to have the same level of energy and the same capacity make kids love them. I must say that the training for the mascot seems to be great (I must also say that I’m not paid for saying all these things).
But it doesn’t end there (my first choice of words is this – “But wait, there’s more”). What I admire about the mascot is its willingness to go through hoops and obstacles to spread smiles on the faces of children, even those in pain.
The last two birthdays of our son, with Jollibee as the usual guest, were held in the same children’s ward of a hospital. There’s more to spaghetti, chicken, hamburger or french fries. The jolly bee would not only go through his usual dance routine, it would also go and interact with the kids – each and every one in the entire children’s ward.
Now, mind you, this is not an easy task. Tubes, cables and steel beams are everywhere. There are more than 50 kids to go to. There is no break. Yet the jolly bee continued on its task of making each kid smile.
I don’t really know if the people under the mascots are compensated enough. I don’t really know if these people hear “thank you” often enough. I do know that I want to say thank you to them and to the jolly old bee that makes the children happy.