Thinking about artificial intelligence typically conjures up images of faceless robots on a mission to systematically take jobs away from human beings. The last thing consumers imagine they might see are loveable, gentle cows. This unexpected branding twist allows San Francisco-based AI company, Moogsoft, and its cow character mascot to stand out from the tech herd. Moogsoft’s new brand officially launches on August 30th and a blessed bovine is acting as its sage guide.
For those who aren’t familiar with the company, Moogsoft is a company that uses patented AI to reduce the incoming flood of IT alerts and tickets to human operators. Over the years as the business took off, so did the expanded narrative surrounding its iconic cow. This cow was never meant to be an ordinary farm dweller with little more on mind its than chewing cud. It was meant to serve a greater purpose within the brand’s architecture as a zen mentor.
Matthew Harper, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Moogsoft, has successfully utilized brand archetyping throughout his career. The process has taught Harper that the greatest stories ever told have recurring characters. There is the hero, who overcomes hardship to achieve greatness. A secondary character, the sage, helps coach our hero. This type of mentorship allows the hero to move forward in their journey and achieve greatness.
While many brands choose to act as hero to consumers, Moogsoft’s hero is its customer. Moogsoft, according to Harper, is the sage. The brand helps shine a light and give the hero the insight they need to overcome adversity. Here, the adversity means taming IT’s modern complexity and finding and fixing customer-impacting problems where they occur.
“If you look at the execution in our new key art and illustrations, you will see the relationship between these two characters,” Harper explains, “Oftentimes, the relationship is within the context of a cultural riff like the Myth of Sisyphus or Michaelangelo’s The Birth of Adam.”
The greatest stories that feature heroes and sages often shroud the sage with a bit of mystery. We don’t know the name of the Moogsoft cow and it’s likely we never will either. While the initial character was developed internally, boutique design and animation studio Studio Misfit developed the ethereal cow the world sees today.
AJ Leon, CEO and Creative Director at Studio Misfit, worked closely with Moogsoft to bring their cow and its personality to a higher character power. “Our initial goal at the beginning was to develop a notable, loveable, and reliable character, which would be the embodiment of Moogsoft’s brand mark and vision.” Leon says. That character’s influence would extend to every expression of Moogsoft’s brand, covering the website, social media platforms, and even branded t-shirts.
The Studio Misfit team spent an entire summer working on dozens of iterations of the Moogsoft cow. The bovine needed to stay within its sage parameters, assisting the heroic customer while keeping AI fears at bay. “We wanted to leverage this conventional epithet, and visually articulate it in an artistically playful way, thereby transmogrifying the idea of fearful omnipotence into a friendly cowgod. This cowgod descends from ‘the Cloud,’ with one sacred purpose — to alleviate the suffering of DevOps teams the world over. For the consumer, this is an amusing and useful alternate narrative, and for Moogsoft it allows them to be affable, while retaining their indelible sage brand attributes.”
As for the Moogsoft cow designs that didn’t make the cut, Leon assures me that we will get to see them throughout the next six months. Many of these cows will find their way to different extensions of the Moogsoft brand. The cow, in all its forms, will serve as a vehicle for telling simple, relatable stories about the transformative power of Moogsoft’s technology through character-driven narratives that show scenarios “with Moogsoft” versus those “without Moogsoft.”
One more thing the cow wants to be? Fun! Harper is proud that the Moogsoft brand has always been colorful and full of inspiration. Moogsoft is able to connect with audiences on a human level, while still carving out a unique identity space within the industry. “Just because it’s technology and B2B marketing doesn’t mean it has to be boring.” Harper notes.
Keep calm, carry on, and… Moo!