Familiar Creatures

Duke's Mayo

Creating the first mascot for a 105-year old brand.


Duke's needed a mascot.


Someone...or something...that could show up at community events, tailgates and their two sponsored college football games—the Mayo Classic & the Mayo Bowl. But they also needed a character that could have a life online—on social platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.

So, they called us.



A beginners guide to creating a mascot:


We started by concepting. From the jump we knew we had to stay true to the brand’s bold and Southern roots. So some generic “wave and pose” mascot with a stitched-on smiley face wasn’t going to cut it.

Exploring a variety of different concepts, we started with about 60 loose designs that ran the mascot gambit. From there, we narrowed to about eight favorites. We wanted the mascot to feel like a character, so for each favorite design we developed a distinct backstory, personality, and tone of voice.

In the end, one mascot stood out. And he was glorious.



Bringing the mayo to life. Literally.


To inject life into the design we gave him a somewhat unhinged social media presence and some freakin’ crazy eyebrows.

When we were ready to introduce our mascot to the world, we had him “hack” all of Duke’s socials for a day. With no warning, or context, he began posting incoherent content for about six hours straight. It was the kind of social-media rant you could expect from someone with mayonnaise for brains.



Unsurprisingly, the internet loved it.



At this point, our mascot still didn’t have a name. So we had him host his own “name me” contest. We first had fans write in suggestions. Once we settled on a top 4, we again turned to the fans to decide the rest. “Tubby” came out on top.

When Tubby appeared at the Duke’s Mayo Classic a week later, the fans and the press ate him up. Figuratively speaking. Tubby was covered by USA Today, Food & Wine, Mashed, College Football Reddit and more.

This is just the beginning for our smooth & creamy friend. Be ready to see much, more more of those eyebrows in the near and distant future.





Tubby helped ring in the 2022 Duke’s Mayo Bowl by hijacking the company’s CEO welcome video. Check it out below.



Update #2!


Tubby has arrived in plushie form. Go buy him now.


Earned Coverage: