Preston Street BIA in a brilliant marketing stroke invented Luigi, a mascot for their signage during the reconstruction years.
He was certainly popular. People got out of their cars to take their picture with him. Bluesfest goers gathered round the signs for group photos.
The volunteer T-shirts at last-year’s Italian festival said Luigi’s Security or something similar. Perhaps coincidentally, I noticed this Luigi doll on a doorstep.
Yet, the street seems strangely lonely now, without his face on banners and signs.
I think he should be given new life. He adds personality to the street.
In a related vein, I saw in the paper that Vancouver’s Chinatown held an online poll to select a mascot. They choose a cutsey panda bear for their mascot.
4 thoughts on “Of Mascots and Marketing”
Personally I hated "Luigi". It was the weakest stereotype imaginable and looked like the Nintendo character. At least pick an less obvious stereotype if you're going that route, like a Italian woman waving a wooden spoon or something. Really, they should have looked to the historical patrons of Preston and drew up a character based on that. (and if that's what Luigi was, then done a better job of it). Love the blog, btw.
Luigi was designed to pinch hit us through the construction…we do agree, he was a little stereo-typical..but he was only designed to segue us out of the "old Little Italy" and ease the confusion of the construction on the street… We thank Luigi for his hard work on our behalf, but there is a renaissance in Little Italy, and any new representation of the area needs to reflect this. So Grazie Luigi….Ciao!
The word "renaissance" certainly resonates with possibilities for characters to use as a mascot.The Medici's do not provide the tenor that the neighbourhood wants, but Leonardo da Vinci might offer possibilities….I am curious to see who will be unveiled next.Cheers.
I liked Luigi – I hope we'll see more of his family in the years to come. Mama Luigi? Bambinos?
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