Brand mascots should be cuddly, or at the very least they shouldn’t give you nightmares. McDonald’s learned that the hard way this week after critics on social media referred to Happy -- the restaurant chain’s new Happy Meal mascot -- as McScary.
But Happy has nothing on the new Lemonhead.
Someone at Ferrara Candy Co., the Chicago-based maker of Lemonheads, didn’t get the cuddly-mascot memo.
Lemonhead candies are undergoing a rebrand with new packaging and a new mascot, reports the Chicago Tribune. The previous Lemonhead character was a cute illustration of a Lemonhead child with a bow tie and a patch of hair on his head.
He’s since transformed into a character out of a low-budget sci-fi movie about an alien-sourced fruit that drops from the sky and turns everyone into citrus hybrids who haunt your dreams. The new Lemonhead mascot is almost a real person, with a giant lemon head. There’s a sly smile plastered across his face and giant doll-like blue eyes. He also has ears and hair atop his unnaturally yellow head.
The brand was looking for a way to appeal to an older fan base by aging Lemonhead and putting him in his early 20s. And like any guy in his 20s, Lemonhead is active on social media, but he’s a little at a loss for words. The brand posted a picture of Lemonhead wearing a sports jersey with a one-word caption: “Hey."
Lemonhead will be making his in-person debut at the Sweets and Snacks show in Chicago this week.
“He’ll be ... doing normal fun things that any 22-year-old would do,” said Dawn Sykora, director of marketing for Ferrara, told the Chicago Tribune. “He’s kind of grown up, but he’s lost that little boy look off the package.”
And he may scare small children, and adults.