Parents, Kids Not Digging the New Chuck E. Cheese Mascot

by Christopher Freeburn | November 30, 2012 1:55 pm

[1]This year the Chuck E. Cheese mascot received a makeover. Unfortunately for the restaurant chain, owned by CEC Entertainment (NYSE:CEC[2]), the refreshed Chuck E. isn’t as popular as his former self[3].

A survey conducted by E-Poll Market Research found that 28% of respondents were less aware of the slimmed-down rodent, who now sports a guitar, while 9% found him less appealing than his previous incarnation, Restaurant News noted.

Shares of CEC Entertainment fell more than 2% in Friday afternoon trading.

Chuck E.’s updated image was part of a new parent-focused marketing strategy that the company intiated in July[4]. Scott McDaniel, chief marketing officer for CEC, said defended the changes to the character, saying that the chain’s internal customer feedback indicated a “positive response” to the new Chuck E.

However, the E-Poll survey revealed that among children between the ages of six and seven, 57% said they liked the old Chuck E., compared to 48% for the refreshed version. Among mothers, 26% said they liked the old character, while 24% indicated that they liked the new one.

As it shifted toward parent-responsive marketing this year, CEC spent more on radio and online advertising and less on TV ads. The president of E-Poll noted that the new Chuck E.’s popularity could rise if CEC spent more on media promotion of the new image.

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