Mucinex's AI-Generated Game Mashes The Mascot

Had it with Mr. Mucus, Mucinex’s pesky animated mascot?

Mr. Mucus does get smashed at the end of Mucinex commercials, but now you can crush him yourself with Mucus Masher, an online game the Reckitt cold-and-flu brand says marks the first use of Getty Images Generative AI as a key component in an interactive brand campaign.

“We’ve seen high engagement with our ads when Mr. Mucus gets mashed,” Albert So, Reckitt’s marketing director, upper respiratory brands, tells Marketing Daily, “and now we’ve placed this ability in the hands of our consumer so that they can choose how to mash him in their own way. With Mucus Masher, we are giving consumers a fun way to get revenge on Mr. Mucus through a unique blend of A.I. technology and their own imagination and creativity.”

The game, running through the end of March, lets consumers crush Mr. Mucus with houses, whales, skyscrapers, planets, bulldozers or any other object from Getty’s huge image library.



Maybe even a piano, which is what New Yorkers will see Thursday via a Union Square pop-up (or pop-down?) rendering of a crushed Mr. Mucus, his two feet poking out from under the piano like the Wicked Witch of the West killed by a flying house in a certain movie from 85 years ago.

The pop-up will include signage with a QSR code that will connect to the Mucus Masher game. Mucinex is also driving consumers to MucusMasher.com through paid social support. Consumers who crush Mr. Mucus receive a reward from Mucinex in the form of a $5-off coupon. 

For Mucinex, the Mucus Masher mayhem marks its third Big Apple stunt so far this year, following two staged in transportation hubs: the handing out of free coffee at its Kickstart Café in the Oculus Center, and “Mucus Disappearus,” a Grand Central Station event in which iconic magicians Penn & Teller made a live Mr. Mucus evaporate in a puff of confetti.

Mucus Masher, the game, was developed by Reckitt in collaboration with agency McCann New York and digital production partners Active Theory and Addition.

McCann also executed Thursday’s popup event.

So says the game “offers consumers an accessible gateway that lets everyone experience the creative power of generative AI,” which usually has “a formidable learning curve." He adds that Reckitt’s experience with Getty “has been a wild ride in learning about AI capabilities and how to harness them in a gamified environment.”

And, "although we are still in the early stages of AI,” he continues, “we know this technology will provide opportunities to quickly customize consumer experiences and serve as a key conduit to creating relevant engagement in the marketplace.”

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