Bogus Elmos, a fake Mickey Mouse, a slightly-off Buzz Lightyear, a grimy Spongebob Squarepants and other well-known TV and movie characters have taken to roaming not only Times Square … but also Rockefeller Center, Penn Station and any other place in the city where copious numbers of tourists flock looking for picture opportunities. The characters, who carry a donation bag by their side, won’t say where they come from. Lubin Marketing Professor Larry Chiagouris comments as to why these “priceless gems” and “revenue streams” need to be protected by their corporate owners in the New York Post.
There have always been plenty of characters loitering in Times Square. But these days some of them are complete phonies. Dr. Larry Chiagouris, professor of marketing at Pace, suggests that a sustained presence of the impostors can leave a bad impression of the firms that own the rights. “People begin to subconsciously associate the stained and ripped characters with the companies.”