Mascots Are Overwhelmingly Male, But One Popsicle Brand Just Helped Level The Field

It's a great start.

The future is equally female and male, at least with Otter Pops.

The popsicle company recently unveiled five female and five male otter mascots to promote gender equality. Each character is a different color representing Otter Pops flavors, with interests varying from acting to science.


The revamp came after a study from the Geena Davis Institute of Gender In Media found that for every two male mascots for U.S. brands, there's only one female mascot. And although 38 percent of the U.S. population is comprised of people of color, only 15.2 percent of mascots reflect any sort of diversity.  

Prior to the study, Otter Pops only had 30 percent female representation in its mascots. So the company got to work, and with the help of children's producer and screenwriter Obie Scott Wade, used science, technology, engineering, architecture, and mathematics (STEAM) education as a guide to create diverse interests among each of the mascots, according to Adweek.

In a statement, Ken Wegner, president of The Jel Sert Company that worked with the Geena Davis Institute to conduct the study, said the company was excited to partner with the institute and work toward equality.

"... The results show a clear need for our industry to correct course and create mascots that truly represent our consumers," Wegner said. 

Geena Davis is also optimistic about the study and anticipates that the new mascots could shake up the world of branding.

"We hope that the findings from this study will inspire other brands to evaluate the impact that mascots have on children and consumers and make positive changes towards equal and positive gender representation," she said in a statement.

Looking ahead to the future of Otter Pops' new cast of characters, a spokesperson for the company spoke to Jezebel about whether or not any of the otters will identify within the LGBTQ community, and said the company is still discussing that but it could be a possibility.

But the one thing Otter Pops wants to give its customers control over is the ability to "project their own thoughts and beliefs on the characters," the spokesperson said. "We want to continue giving the characters that freedom and everyone has a different interpretation and a specific character they identify with, which is wonderful. We like to thinking of it as the characters opening 'a freezer full of possibilities' that inspires everyone."


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