麦酷狮 [mài kù shī], the name for both Max the brand and the mascot, performs a lovable and fun brand identity among Chinese consumers.
PADDLE POP TO MAX
MAX, formerly known in China as the lion mascot of Paddle Pop/ 百乐宝[bǎi lè bǎo], is a product under Unilever’s ice cream brand – Wall’s. The original name Paddle Pop was changed to MAX for the purpose of a unified global identity in 2013. But the same lion image will remain as the brand mascot.
Unilever appointed Labbrand to create the new Chinese name for both MAX the brand and MAX the mascot. The new name need to convey exciting, fun adventures but avoid to be too naive. The brand wants Chinese consumers to quickly embrace the new identity of the familiar mascot.
WELCOME THE COOL LION
After 3 rounds of creation, we conducted linguistic checks in Mandarin and 5 main Chinese dialects to avoid potential linguistic problems. We then tested the name candidates in focus groups of kids and their mothers, in order to find the most welcomed name amongst MAX’s key consumer groups.
The final Chinese name chosen was 麦酷狮 [mài kù shī]. This name performs well for both brand name and mascot name. Phonetically, it sounds very close to the English name MAX. Semantically, 麦[mài] means wheat, which reminds people of delicious and nutritious food based on name testing results. 酷[kù] means cool. It fulfills targeted children’s aspiration for cool and exciting things. 狮[shī] is lion, which directly refers to the mascot.