And without further ado…

Posted By: Team XBMC on Jun 17, 2011 in Site News

A bit over a month ago, Team XBMC started a mascot contest that resulted in a 49 page thread in our forum, so many amazing Mascot contestants that we had to push back the results to get the best vote we could within the team, and quite a few new avatars and forum signatures. In total, there were more than 100 submissions.

We want to thank all the participants for their art and their ideas, and we hate the fact that we could pick only one winner.  But that’s the way of these things. Of those original submissions, the team narrowed down the list to a final round of 10 candidates.  From that list, we picked our first, second, and third place submissions.

Without further ado, Team XBMC has selected Zapy by da-anda to be the mascot of XBMC.   Congrats da-anda! And Zapy, do you have anything you’d like to say?

zomg!

Clearly, Zapy is speechless.

As I said, it was a tough vote for Team XBMC. Coming in 2nd place was htpc_guy’s absolutely amazing and versatile dragon. And in 3rd was grumpygamer’s awesomely friendly and sloth.

Da-anda, htpc_guy, and grumpygamer, you will all be contacted soon, if you haven’t been already. Everybody else, once again, thanks for all your hard work.  You’ve been amazing.

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Discussion - 129 Comments

  • ctyonahl Jun 17, 2011 

    I didn’t win…:(

  • xavier Jun 17, 2011 

    What are the white things hanging over his head?

  • Kirk Jun 17, 2011 

    Sorry to say but I think this a step backward in the evolution of XBMC.
    I think that mascot makes XBMC look childish and unprofessional. Just one long time users opinion.

  • da-anda Jun 17, 2011 

    Wow, didn’t expect that oO. There where just too many great contributions. Thanks so much! And congratulations to htpc_guy and grumpygamer!

  • htpc guy Jun 17, 2011 

    Congrats da-anda. I thought I had a great shot at winning until Zappy came along. I immediately knew that it would be the winner. Its a great concept. Congrats to you and grumpygamer as well. Now we can look forward to the cool stuff coming in the mail!

  • Rich Jun 17, 2011 

    …there weren’t that many.

  • Richard Jun 17, 2011 

    Zappy is awesome and my 1st pick also. I liked the sloth aswell. Cant wait to see what xbmc does with zappy and if any skins integrate it also.

  • Mr. Roboto Jun 17, 2011 

    I like the dragon more :-(

  • natethomas Jun 17, 2011 

    @xavier
    Hands. It may make more sense if you look at other pictures of him.

  • wmclain Jun 17, 2011 

    Congrats to da-anda, htpc_guy, and grumpygamer.
    My little XB Fish never stood a chance : (

  • mechiah Jun 17, 2011 

    wow. for the htpc software suite that prides itself on it’s slick styling, this is awful. cute enough for a children’s show maybe, but what were you thinking, attaching this to XBMC?

  • mechiah Jun 17, 2011 

    @natethomas
    it doesn’t

  • h.udo Jun 17, 2011 

    As usual you can’t please Greeks and Trojans…

    Congrats to all the winners!

  • p-kard Jun 17, 2011 

    I cant be the only one to realized this.
    But dosent zappy look a little to much like the Tivo mascot.

    Zappy and Tivo
    http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/8089/ripofft.jpg

  • natethomas Jun 17, 2011 
  • Jive Jun 18, 2011 

    +1 on a step backwards for XBMC.

    It definitely does not communicate modern, cutting edge, media center. It’s not that “zappy” is a bad design, but it simply does not *fit* with XBMC. I literally cringed at the thought of seeing this character throughout the XBMC website and program.

  • jeff Jun 18, 2011 

    the teletubbies one shoulda won.

  • synstr Jun 18, 2011 

    Sorry I agree. Think it looks childish to. Probably my last pick.. I wouldn’t attach it to xbmc. I liked the fish. thought it brought the logo together to.

  • Briam Jun 18, 2011 

    It looks good but in my opinion it stands for everything xbmc isn’t

  • wbbd Jun 18, 2011 

    Yeah… no. That could be perfect a mascot for some sort of preschool educational software, but not for XBMC.

    Sorry, but please consider changing to something more mature based on the community feedback.

  • the gog Jun 18, 2011 

    i also think this is a step backward for xbmc, imo it looks childish and has no place on the uber slick xbmc interface.

    i hope it will be ann option to have it displayed.

    not wanting to upset anyone, just my opinion.

  • zag2me Jun 18, 2011 

    looks like a vagina to me

  • kevcampbell Jun 18, 2011 

    like others have said, step in the wrong direction, i am sure xbmc is not aimed at kids, or is it?

    still love xbmc though, no matter what

  • MrChilliBeer Jun 18, 2011 

    I have to agree with a few of the others. Well done on winning but as far as a mascot goes I think this really drags the more professional image of XBMC down with it. You didn’t need a mascot, the XBMC logo was enough on it’s own.

    And as others have said, I wouldn’t have thought those white things are hands.

  • p-kard Jun 18, 2011 

    Some new hardware to go with our new mascot :)
    http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/5266/xbmcremote.jpg

  • Geesmayer Jun 18, 2011 

    kindergarden mascot..

  • baspt Jun 18, 2011 

    I hope I’ll never see this thing appear on my xbmc.

  • Steve Jun 18, 2011 

    Sorry to say, but i dont like Zappy… ):

  • Nickman Jun 18, 2011 
  • Basti Jun 18, 2011 

    grumpygamer is my favorite!

  • Clog Jun 18, 2011 

    wow… it does look as if it was taken from Tivo

  • philneko Jun 18, 2011 

    @Richard
    +1 zappy & sloth were great!!

  • Wouter Jun 18, 2011 

    @Kirk
    I couldn’t agree more. I new logo would nice though. I really like the stylished XB fish.

  • Andreas Jun 18, 2011 

    NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

  • Evos Jun 18, 2011 

    Kirk :
    Sorry to say but I think this a step backward in the evolution of XBMC.
    I think that mascot makes XBMC look childish and unprofessional. Just one long time users opinion.

    Agree with that!
    This logo is contrary to the goal of the foundation “The reason for its existence is to promote XBMC”. This logo does not promote but dis promotes xbmc (my opinion). It is not representative!

    In my opinion the logo has to work for all target groups. (young, old, noob, nerd, wife etc.)
    How did you pick the logo? just by voting? or by discussion?

  • gigi Jun 18, 2011 

    im 33yrs old, and I love it! It was my number 1 too. Great choice!

  • lovexbmc Jun 18, 2011 

    The grumpygamer’s is the best! The mascot from htpc_guy’s ist also nice but the winner (Zappy) …

  • David Jun 18, 2011 

    Ignore the haters. People only post when they don’t like something, not when they’re content. and some people are always just grumpy.

    It looks fucking great!

  • Anonymous Jun 18, 2011 

    Kirk :
    Sorry to say but I think this a step backward in the evolution of XBMC.
    I think that mascot makes XBMC look childish and unprofessional. Just one long time users opinion.

    i agree!

  • kawasabi Jun 18, 2011 

    This is so not XBMC! Why do you need a childish mascot?

  • Richard Ayotte Jun 18, 2011 

    htpc_guy’s dragon was my favourite but this one is nice too. The dragon is like a pet, loyal and ready to help and Zappy is like an imaginary friend.

  • ashlar Jun 18, 2011 

    Wow… the first three slots have been taken by my first three choices, in the same exact order (although the dragon was for me an awfully close second). Hats off to you guys, you really deserved to win.

    I would like for the dragon to at least appear in tee shirt offerings. :)

  • Me Jun 18, 2011 

    Congrats.
    I approve of the mascot!

  • John Jun 18, 2011 

    I personaly really liked the xb fish, tight and clean.

    I’m not a designer, zappy is nice, but looks a bit too amateurishalike when i first saw it, and after the TiVo look alike post by p-kard, I’m sorry to see the “jury” didn’t do any much research. Let’s hope zappy will become more “mature” in color and shapes.

    But, congrats to the winners!

  • KR16_2 Jun 18, 2011 

    Don’t like it but hey…. its a mascot. It will always be childish (only naked chic mascot would be good from my perspective LOL)
    Congrats to the winner !!!

    It reminds me of Commodore VIC20 user manual (there was a mascot explaining how to do stuff)

  • WILD9 Jun 18, 2011 

    I’m not keen on the idea of a cute mascot generally but congratulations to the winners nonetheless there are a lot of good designs in there !

  • Tyler Jun 18, 2011 

    I have been using XBMC For 6 years now. This is the worst thing to happen to it. Please fix this.

  • h.udo Jun 18, 2011 

    @zag2me
    Clearly you don’t know how a vagina looks!

    Sad… very sad… so many great sex ed classes out there!

  • tacoguy Jun 18, 2011 

    I like it. I’m not sure what people mean by “direction”. I want xbmc to be even more popular. I envision Zappy walking new users through setting up xbmc. Nothing wrong with that.
    And yes my kids do use xbmc…

  • Topher Jun 18, 2011 

    @Kirk
    I agree completely. What is on top of his head?

  • Anonymous Jun 18, 2011 

    @mechiah

    Seriously? I hadn’t even seen the other pictures of him before I saw this picture in the announcement, but I didn’t have to wonder what they might be. Looked just like hands to me, slapped on his head as if in shock

  • what a joke Jun 18, 2011 

    Wow. Just wow. This is absolute crap. What were you guys thinking? Despite the fact that things don’t need stupid mascots, you had some good entries and decided THIS was marketable? You’ve got to be kidding. Looks like a cross between mickey mouse and the tivo mascot with horrid reuslts. I will make it my mission to strip that logo from wherever it may begin to appear. What a joke guys.

  • george Jun 18, 2011 

    @tacoguy

    Until XBMC “just works,” popularity will remain among people who have the time and inclination to poke at it and spend hours upon hours going through forums to find answers, which people mistakenly assume replaces actual documentation.

  • hans Jun 18, 2011 

    i think its like the mediaportal thing. nothing that says xbmc. i dont like it, but its ok…

  • Joel Jun 18, 2011 

    the Sloth should have won. but if i had to choose between Zappy and no mascot. i would choose not to have a mascot in a heartbeat.
    Absolutely a step backwards for XBMC

  • Anonymous Jun 18, 2011 

    @wmclain

    Not really for a mascot but I would like to see it as a new XBMC logo. Very slick!

  • Tim Jun 18, 2011 

    So long as Zappy does not get integrated into Confluence, I’m OK with it. One of the worst things about MediaPortal was that the mascot (MePo) was integrated into the default skins – it made the interface look childish and unprofessional.

    I would have much preferred Joen’s octopus: http://xbmc.exstatic.org/mascots/joen_2.png

  • cowfodder Jun 18, 2011 

    Well……… Not sure how I feel. It does seem a bit cartoony, but given the linux and open-source communities history of cartoony mascots it doesn’t seem out of place. Case in point: http://www.eukhost.com/josh/linux-penguin.jpg

    Congrats to da-anda!

  • Ego Jun 18, 2011 

    Really, XBMC? REALLY!? Did you guys let your children vote for you?

    I hope this thing doesn’t end up in the actual product, or someone with a clue starts a mascot free fork, because this is seriously THAT bad. Please, listen to your audience before you go through with this

  • wmclain Jun 18, 2011 

    Wouter :
    @Kirk
    I couldn’t agree more. I new logo would nice though. I really like the stylished XB fish.

    Thanks Wouter.
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2765/5784574379_c239550b11_b.jpg

  • Lyndon Jun 18, 2011 

    I think a lot of you are overreacting. The mascot looks good, mind you I think the version of him chosen for the post isn’t his best “angle”. He’s obviously not going to be posted all over the website and xbmc skins. The xbmc team is smart, they know people don’t want a cartoon on their tv, but it WOULD go well on some posters, t-shirts, or as a stuffed toy, which may not be for everyone but it certainly won’t detract from the xbmc name.

  • Voice of Reason Jun 19, 2011 

    His name was spelled Zapy in the artwork……is this guy an impostor?

  • jokono Jun 19, 2011 

    I really love XBMC, and I’m glad that so many people were compelled to spend time in designing and then had the courage to show their work to the world. Congratulations to Da-anda.

    Unfortunately, I must add my vote of dissatisfaction to the others here who really feel this mascot doesn’t fit with XBMC. Obviously, it is the XBMC team, who spend their time to make XBMC the awesome product that it is, who should be able to choose their own mascot. But, and I say this as humbly as I possibly can — as a simple, fanatical user of XBMC, I REALLY HATE ZAPPY. He does, as others have pointed out, look like Mr. Tivo. He reminds me of Microsoft’s Clippy (it’s the eyes, I think), and he (or she?) looks ridiculously cartoony and childish.

    I will, of course, continue to use and love XBMC, and will continue evangelizing it to my friends and family. But, I really hope Zappy stays exclusively on the web page and does not make any appearance in the XBMC product itself. Sorry.

  • MrDerp Jun 19, 2011 

    I must add my support for the anti-Zappy bandwagon. This mascot is childish. If I wanted a media center for kids I’d go an buy a Microsoft product.

  • uncola Jun 19, 2011 

    Well I didn’t vote so I guess it’s my fault, but I really like the sloth entry

  • Elia Jun 19, 2011 

    Kirk :
    Sorry to say but I think this a step backward in the evolution of XBMC.
    I think that mascot makes XBMC look childish and unprofessional. Just one long time users opinion.

    Really agree with this. Seems like such a big step backwards in making XBMC a modern a polished product.

  • natethomas Jun 19, 2011 

    @Elia
    Sorry, out of curiosity, in what way do you think Zappy is going to affect the XBMC product? The only product the team makes is the XBMC Media Center, and I don’t recall anyone ever saying Zappy was going to be in the media center itself. Perhaps you could enlighten us?

  • Robert Vonz Jun 19, 2011 

    Not exactly sure why XBMC needs a mascot and I agree, this is a step backwards. You should look at BOXEE for inspiration on something a little more acceptable.

  • Clog Jun 19, 2011 

    I also add my vote against Zapy and the dragon with the usb tail, there are many good designs as I pointed out before, and I was quite shocked to see many of the good ones ditched in Zapy’s favour.
    I understand Zapy is really easy to change, but it DOES really look unprofessional.
    I suggest opening a poll and then compare your userbase’s choice with your own and make an average out of it.

  • Jay Jun 19, 2011 

    Man, this truly is a crappy mascot. Why would you even need one, you got a logo that works just fine. And this guy looks like a bad mixup of disney and nintendo. Oh no wait, it reminds me of that annoying little tell-sell character. Or that vacuum-clean-mascot guy…
    PLEASE dont go thru with this, it will just make you guys look bad.

  • Mac Jun 19, 2011 

    First congrats to the winner, the mascot is well drawn and looks nice, but please do not understand me wrong, I love everything the XBMC team does, I appreciate the hard work you put into the XBMC project and will always respect every decision you do. But my opinion is that this mascot does not fit my understanding of XBMC. For me, XBMC is cool, stylish, modern, technical, progressive but discreet. Zappy is coltish, comic and a bit childish. Imagine Zappy walking through the Aeon skin…
    Please do not misunderstand this post and do not get me wrong, this is only my opionion.

  • Mr_Roberto Jun 19, 2011 

    Lyndon :
    I think a lot of you are overreacting. The mascot looks good, mind you I think the version of him chosen for the post isn’t his best “angle”. He’s obviously not going to be posted all over the website and xbmc skins. The xbmc team is smart, they know people don’t want a cartoon on their tv, but it WOULD go well on some posters, t-shirts, or as a stuffed toy, which may not be for everyone but it certainly won’t detract from the xbmc name.

    Agreed. Some people are in desperately need to get a grip.

  • Tekkamanraiden Jun 19, 2011 

    I kinda liked the dragon one more but this one is fine.

  • Tekkamanraiden Jun 19, 2011 

    He kind of reminds me of the character ‘Mike the TV’ from reboot.

  • MrDude Jun 19, 2011 

    Can’t believe how many people are getting all emotional over the mascot. Good choice guys!

  • green Jun 19, 2011 

    Couldn’t we get one of the model girls (wearing the mascotte t-shirts) as a mascotte?

    … Zapy looks ok, but lacks charisma.

  • tacoguy Jun 19, 2011 

    A lot of overreaction here. It’s a mascot. Personally, I don’t know if it’s the original intent of the mascot, I wouldn’t mind there being a mascot intro-ing xbmc for new users.
    Don’t really understand how a mascot is a step backwards, or going in the wrong direction. Has xbmc become closed source? Is Zappy-ence the new default skin? How about a new non-zappy xbmc fork? Get real. How is xbmc for adults-only? Should I be over 18 to use xbmc?
    I like the direction xbmc is going. Congrats to the team and the users who participated in the contest.

  • not_ Jun 19, 2011 

    I too have to agree with the general negative vibe towards the chosen mascot.
    Granted, the socks-on-head pose depicted in this post isn’t the best – the other versions of it look better and I appreciate the time and energy that were put into creating it but I don’t think it “feels” XBMC. Looking at it makes you feel like you have seen it elsewhere already plus, as mentioned by others here, it just looks childish.

  • Matthew Jun 19, 2011 

    Green pants? Seriously? Nothing about the mascot says, “XMBC.” The mascot has a TV monitor for a head so it could easily be a mascot for any other media oriented program. The XBMC logo in the top-left of the banner bar is the most recognizable.

  • Bob Jun 19, 2011 

    This is what happens when programmers and geeks try and make art decisions. I knew the new mascot was going to be awful when I looked at all the “amazing mascot entries” and so many of them were copyright infringements.

    Only one was any good, although I knew the sloth would be a lot of people’s favorites due to a certain picture. There were those that were interesting artistically, but made no sense as a mascot (like the octopus). The fish was the only one that worked. It was simple, clean, could be worked into the logo and didn’t look like it was made for a five year old.

  • Paul Jun 19, 2011 

    @Bob

    Complely agree with you and all the other negative comments. I’m assuming Zappy won because all the entree’s were crap…. so it’s the best of the worst. Don’t get me wrong, I do think Zappy is decent, and I see the creativity behind it, but it does not need to be associated with XBMC :(

    I think XBMC needs a new logo, new design, perhaps a new name, but not a mascot… or at least none of the ones chosen. Sad to see this day :( Wish some professional designers came in and created one

  • Anonymous Jun 19, 2011 

    george :
    @tacoguy
    Until XBMC “just works,” popularity will remain among people who have the time and inclination to poke at it and spend hours upon hours going through forums to find answers, which people mistakenly assume replaces actual documentation.

    QFT

  • Paulo F. Jun 19, 2011 

    Is this what you really was looking for? I love XBMC as a mediacenter, but I think it just got a really childish logo. I really prefer the simple “XBCM” logo letters.

  • Sad Sad Sad... Jun 19, 2011 

    I’m all for community participation and I can respect the effort people put into this contest, but really? I’m no expert in advertising or brand recognition but I know enough to understand that this decision will do nothing good for XBMC’s brand recognition or public image. I feel really bad about all the flack the “winner’s” art work has received but its true… There is no way this type of mascot would have ever been taken seriously even as candidate if qualified professionals were consulted. Mascots are supposed to improve a product’s image and brand recognition and unfortunately this selection does neither. Personally i was more partial to the fish and dragon entries. The dragon entry has a “napster” like vibe that was clean and modular. The simplicity of the design would have made it extremely versatile. The same went for the basic fish design, clean lines and simplicity. I trust the developers because of the amazing work they do to make XBMC a great piece of software but in this they made a big booboo, they should have opened this up to the community and poled (not that the type of people that participate in OSS communities know anything about marketing), I guarantee that the mascot they deemed as the winner would have never been considered. This is just one more example of why software engineers should have nothing to do with product marketing or brand building (this is why ALL big IT firms have PR and marketing departments); software engineers just don’t have the expertise to do good work in this department. At the very least they should have given the final say to active skinners here in the XBMC community, I am confident they would have made a better selection because they understand the importance of esthetic and continuity in relation to visual appeal.

    Cheers

  • Rob Loach Jun 19, 2011 

    Microsoft Clippy ;-) …. Personally, I liked Annie the most as it fit so well with the current logo: http://tinyurl.com/3eg8cds

  • natethomas Jun 20, 2011 

    I’m noticing a certain repetitive use of the word clean. I’d really love to see a few examples of mascots that are similarly “clean.” Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a sports fan or the fact that I’m an OSS fan, but I’ve never personally seen a memorable “clean” mascot before. I am agog to see an example. Specifically, an example that ISN’T a logo. Everyone does understand the difference, right? For example the “fish” was a cute logo, but MUCH more a logo than a mascot.

    For reference here are arguably the top 25 mascots of all time.

    mascots

    Not a lot of “clean” there. Excluding Mr Clean, of course!

  • joen Jun 20, 2011 

    Sad Sad Sad… :
    This is just one more example of why software engineers should have nothing to do with product marketing or brand building (this is why ALL big IT firms have PR and marketing departments); software engineers just don’t have the expertise to do good work in this department.

    XBMC is Open Source software AND free. Why would it ever need something like PR? it IS “public” already…

    A lot of you don’t get, that the contest was about a mascot, not about a new logo. Go read the forms, seriously!
    I agree in Zapy beeing a little childish, thats why my Octopus/Squid was in the contest (I explained that in the forums – go read it), but it is very well drawn and will work as a mascot. Especially the different poses are what makes it so nice.

    Congratulations to Da-anda, htpc_guy, and grumpygamer.

    BTW: I would like to release the squid into the ocean of “public domain” – any tips on where to upload the source files (.svg) to?

  • Richard Jun 20, 2011 

    Great work and I like it.

  • Ayala Jun 20, 2011 

    no disrespect to the chosen winner but I’m totally against such arbitrary logos/mascots, its one thing to use animals that represent a lifestyle i.e. a sloth to represent a couchpotato/tv buff. but what the hell is this?? its like a green tivo icon, which I loathe btw. Sorry I had to express my opinion, again no disrespect. Its not a bad creation, just not one I would use for XBMC.

  • MarcusMarcus Jun 20, 2011 

    wmclain :

    Wouter :
    @Kirk
    I couldn’t agree more. I new logo would nice though. I really like the stylished XB fish.

    Thanks Wouter.
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2765/5784574379_c239550b11_b.jpg

    I really thought this fish logo would win or at least be in the top 3. Zapy looks nice but not for XBMC. Too childish, like others have said. Even Zapy looks surprised to have won. I say revote.

  • kr16 Jun 20, 2011 
  • Dave Jun 20, 2011 

    Terrible choice! I can’t believe you didn’t go with the dragon!

  • Anonymous Jun 20, 2011 

    Congrats Da-anda! I would have been very surprised if Zapy hadn’t won!

  • NitrousXBMC Jun 20, 2011 

    Congrats Da-anda, no surprise Zapy won! Very polished and versatile design, well done!

  • basco Jun 20, 2011 

    stinks

  • Wmclain Jun 20, 2011 

    natethomas :
    I am agog to see an example. Specifically, an example that ISN’T a logo. Everyone does understand the difference, right? For example the “fish” was a cute logo, but MUCH more a logo than a mascot.

    Do you consider the Android android a logo or a mascot or both ?
    I though the fish work in both situations, that’s why I kept it flat looking (and because I also lack the skill to make it look more detailed and lively)

  • Arjen Jun 20, 2011 

    I’m happy for the creator of zapy. It’s awesome to be recognized and win a mascotte contest, but this design really doesn’t show any thought on design philosophy. I don’t see it being very versitile, and it doesn’t reflect the design standards of the many great themes that XBMC has to offer.

    Xbmc please think twice before using it!

  • Geeba Jun 20, 2011 

    Hmmm as I said in the thread… to me its all a bit “Gary the no trash cougar” Family guy… dont really do mascots, but well in to the winner.

    I’ll stick with my grown up Xbox.. oopps.. did I say that out loud!!? :o ) just kiddin

  • natethomas Jun 20, 2011 

    @Wmclain
    I have to admit, my statement should be construed as me (and nobody else) talking in that quote. Several devs agreed that the fish worked both ways and quite a few expressed a desire for it to win.

    Also, just so you know, cute was pretty much the entire goal of the process, so when I say the fish was cute, I mean that in a good way. My point is only that logos definitely need to be clean. Mascots do not. I apologize for catching you in the crossfire of my irritation at what I believe to be an incorrect belief among the complainers.

  • bwil Jun 20, 2011 

    I am starting to warm up to the idea of Zapy. The way he looks in that particular pic though, he looks like a crotch mouth mother f’er and I don’t like it. I would love to see more of a evolved him.
    = my 2 cents

  • Nathan Jun 20, 2011 

    Ever since the idea of a mascot was introduced, I have disagreed with it. If the purpose of this is brand recognition, then it already has a logo. The XBMC logo is great and is already building recognition. This mascot will do more harm than good to XBMC’s marketability. There is no value-added here. In fact, if a cost-benefit analysis were done on this, one would discover that any money spent on the project has been an absolute waste. Does the XBMC team understand marketing or advertising?
    I would appreciate a post explaining the full reasoning behind this strategy. From a business perspective it’s confusing.

  • natethomas Jun 20, 2011 

    @Nathan
    Money spent? This was an open to the public competition with prizes that came from donations. There were zero dollars spent. On the other hand, there were 75,000 forum views and 480 responses to the topic. Dozens, if not hundreds of people registered in the forums for the first time to talk and share, rather than complain about something not working. The team and the skilled skinners are now aware of dozens of skilled artists who have suddenly floated to the top of the pile and could theoretically now contribute to future art projects.

    If XBMC tossed aside Zapy/Zappy (still not quite certain on the lettering) today, it will have been a major win for us, the non-profit organization that we are. Fortunately, we are not throwing Zapy away, because he represents an opportunity to connect with individuals who previous wouldn’t have given XBMC the time of day. Those people in the world who are non-tech geeks tend to like friendly faces and non-threatening personalities, and Zapy’s got that down flat.

    You know what I’d love to see? First, an answer to any of my previous questions asking for actual reasons why people are complaining. And, second, some kind of evidence that a mascot (particularly a cute, “non-clean” one) in any way harms the growth of either A: a project or B: an open source project. I hear a lot of people acting like such evidence is obviously out there, yet no one seems willing or able to produce it. It’s almost like people are just making things up based on their own opinions.

  • RyanG Jun 20, 2011 

    @natethomas

    Well put!

    RE: Zapy/Zappy – the single ‘p’ tends to imply a ‘-ey’ sound, resulting in reading/pronouncing it as Zapey. For me, that doesn’t really mean anything, not sure if that’s what you’re going for. Where as Zappy sounds like something that ‘zaps’, sounds energetic, busy, etc.

  • Jeroen Jun 21, 2011 

    @Ayala in what way is it arbitrary?

  • Anonymous Jun 21, 2011 

    RyanG :
    @natethomas
    Well put!
    RE: Zapy/Zappy – the single ‘p’ tends to imply a ‘-ey’ sound, resulting in reading/pronouncing it as Zapey. For me, that doesn’t really mean anything, not sure if that’s what you’re going for. Where as Zappy sounds like something that ‘zaps’, sounds energetic, busy, etc.

    Maybe we could get Spiff down here to sort the spelling out… he gives good input on single and double ‘P’ spelling scenarios

  • Moonwhaler Jun 21, 2011 

    @natethomas: “…reasons why people are complaining”

    Mostly everyone clearly stated WHY they’re complaining: It gives XBMC a childish, non-professional look. Another one? It looks like a direct child of the Tivo guy. To me: it’s just misplaced. It has some kind of “90s” feel to it when every company tried too hard to establish some kind of family character which needed to look something like “a funny guy, making funny jokes” nobody laughs about.

    I’m on the boat as mostly everyone else here: XBMC does not need a mascot – or at least: another one (e.g. dragon was nice and “modular” (like XBMC)). Although I REALLY respect the work that went into the Zap(p)y brainchild, it doesn’t fit my understanding of a modern, fast and reliable media center software. Sometimes it’s that easy.

  • natethomas Jun 21, 2011 

    Moonwhaler :

    Mostly everyone clearly stated WHY they’re complaining: It gives XBMC a childish, non-professional look. Another one? It looks like a direct child of the Tivo guy. To me: it’s just misplaced. It has some kind of “90s” feel to it when every company tried too hard to establish some kind of family character which needed to look something like “a funny guy, making funny jokes” nobody laughs about.

    Alright, so, to sum up, the complaints revolve around four or five different gut feelings that could be accurate or could be the result of either A: a fear and dislike of change or B: some bad cheese from last night. Well, much like the flying spaghetti monster cult, it’s pretty hard to argue with that, so I’ll stop now.

  • Nathan Jun 21, 2011 

    @natethomas
    Thanks for the informative reply. Since this was a zero-cost promotion, I see less harm in it. In light of your statistics, I see that this idea has generated a fair amount of interest in XBMC. However, the final choice of mascot is still questionable. Is XBMC really non-tech/non-geek, yet? I don’t feel as though I could introduce this software to the below-average computer user without walking them through the setup.

    If the goal is to get more users, go for more geeks. Corner that market. It’s safer and easier. Branching out to the mainstream market with the help of a ‘friendly face’ means people will expect a mainstream product. If the product doesn’t meet the demands of the market, the new users and heightened recognition will negatively impact overall perception in the long-run. Until XBMC is truly mainstream, initiatives like Zappy could potentially harm brand recognition.

    I know this isn’t a forum for XBMC suggestions, but this suggestion could help make XBMC more mainstream and ‘idiot proof.’ Create an automated ‘first run’ walk-through. It should ask users some initial questions to help them setup their libraries and to get their settings just right. I’m not the first to suggest this, so I’m sure it’s already been considered.

    A mainstream XBMC needs Zappy. Right now, it doesn’t.

  • Gizmoatwork Jun 21, 2011 

    Well, the contest AND the result of the contest yield a lot of reactions !
    I won’t say anything about Zappy because I was involved as a contender in the contest. I didn’t win, somebody else did. Let’s be fair. Congratulation.
    I’m a bit surprised the chosen mascot irritate so many people. Well, you know, we see and hear only the unpleased vocal ones. I assume a great majority is silent and pleased with the result. So don’t take it too seriously. It’s just a mascot for a piece of software !
    Personally, I’m glad to participate. I’ve improved my skill as an artist.
    Hope some other contests will occurs some day…

  • IgorV Jun 22, 2011 

    Personal favorite was the fish, but from a marketing and more professional standpoint Zapy is clearly the right choice.Zapy is simple with much character and easily manipulated to match any promotions,tutorials,etc…There is also the familiarity factor of the logo which is always a smart move for a product with little or no marketing budget to gain notoriety..it wouldn’t be the first time the little guy “piggy backed” on the marketing of bigger corporations. Hats off to the team for making the smart choice and not going for the “cool” but very narrow demographic choice.

  • Bonzi Jun 22, 2011 

    Why does Zappy look so surprised?

  • Adam Outler Jun 22, 2011 

    The mascott above is over-rendered and it looks like there’s empty sleeves draped over the top of his head. It took me several looks before I realized I was looking at the inside of a glove.

    I think there should be some more examples of how simple it can be to use the logo.

  • Adam Outler Jun 22, 2011 

    I think everyone said “fish” but then XBMC staff selected zappy

  • Adam Outler Jun 22, 2011 

    [IMG]http://i51.tinypic.com/j58sgi.png[/IMG]

  • Adam Outler Jun 22, 2011 
  • Radiant Jun 22, 2011 

    I was a contestant too. While I was sad that I didn’t win, a congratulations is definitely in order.

    In terms of the discussion going on here, I remember when Vancouver announced their 2010 Olympics mascots, everyone hated them. Eventually, they warmed up to them and thought they were the cutest mascots ever, and really helped push the Olympics.

    I think people will warm up to Zapy too.

    The “mascots make XBMC look mainstream” is potentially a valid point though. As far as it “not costing anything”, so far, it hasn’t. And that’s good. But down the road, it could cost something. Maybe not something that you could put a dollar value to either.

  • Robert Lankford Jun 22, 2011 

    @natethomas
    Hmm. Not sure anyone’s gonna dig up a study or anything. For me, however, the issue is how ‘cool’ xbmc seems; which I know is totally subjective. You might be right about branching out to non-geeky folks. But don’t those folks already have Windows Media Center built in anyway? My only point is that, currently, xbmc has a slick (and very cool) look-n-feel about it. I honestly hadn’t ever heard of it until recently. The only reason I downloaded it was because a forum post claimed that the video acceleration in xbmc would tap into my gpu hardware. It did and I was shocked at how cool the entire thing really is. I can say that any cartoon mascots present wouldn’t have stopped me from trying it; but they certainly wouldn’t have enhanced the experience either. And,if not done well, could have ruined the ‘cool’ factor for me.

    And, it’s too late and my opinion doesn’t matter. But the XB fish one is really cool (http://xbmc.exstatic.org/mascots/slide/wmclain_19.jpg). Cool like “ooh look, there’s an arrow in FedEx” cool.

    Neat contest though. I really enjoyed looking over all the excellent entries.

  • basco Jun 22, 2011 

    perhaps it’s an idea to add a configuration switch to zap zapy.

  • jmarshall Jun 22, 2011 

    @Adam Outler said: “I think there should be some more examples of how simple it can be to use the logo.”

    Zapy is not a logo. He’s a mascot.

    You don’t and won’t see him in the main XBMC UI, just like you don’t see the firefox mascot in typical use of Firefox, or the linux penguin in typical use of linux. Instead, you see the mascot only where it makes sense. An “About XBMC/XBMC credits” dialog for instance.

    I must thank everyone for their comments here though – it’s made amusing reading.

  • Ayala Jun 23, 2011 

    @Jeroen you’re kidding?! how does it represent any form of media? or the experience, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and clearly enough people liked it if it won the contest, I’m just expressing my opinion! that’s all.

  • John P Jun 23, 2011 

    I wish I had paid attention to the contest. This mascot looks terrible. Are those tube socks coming out of his head?

  • Ego Jun 23, 2011 

    natethomas :
    @Nathan
    …friendly faces and non-threatening personalities, and Zapy’s got that down flat…

    He doesn’t though. He has zero personality, because he has yet to say anything. As for friendly face, where does his face end and where does it begin?

    You guys are developers, and you are great at what you do. What you are not, is PR people. Take a look at the Top 25 mascots link you posted, and see if you notice a pattern. If you haven’t noticed it, it’s life. The majority of those mascots are either animals, or people. The ones that aren’t, are in the minority, and are also modeled very closely after people. The Pillsbury DoughBOY, Michelin MAN, MISTER Peanut. People like what they know, because it’s comfortable

    I, personally, don’t think Zapy/Zappy fits in with the top 25 mascots at all

  • natethomas Jun 23, 2011 

    @Ego
    Heh. Darn. Here I was waiting for a sweet award.

  • wmclain Jun 23, 2011 
  • natethomas Jun 23, 2011 

    @wmclain
    wmclain, have you considered doing any skinning? Those are some pretty sweet mockups. I’m betting if you present an idea in the skin design thread, a number of skin coders would jump at it.

  • Ned Scott Jun 25, 2011 

    I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

  • ChrisM Jun 25, 2011 

    @wmclain
    I honestly really like the fish mockups a lot. For me it just seems to be more representative of how I view xbmc, sleek yet playful/fun. I see a common complaint that the new mascot is hard to identify what is going on with it and I definitely agree. I had not followed the contest so when looking at Zapy for the first time I had to study him to figure out what I was looking at.

    Although the great thing about xbmc is that it is open for any of us to change and for those that view this new mascot the same way you can do what i will be doing which is simply taking it out of the images that use it on my media center.

  • Roy Jul 01, 2011 

    Yeah, sorry, not a fan.

    Others where better. Loved the changing dragon and the sloth. Fish I liked but it was too “logo” like and not enough “mascotness” to make practical in the areas it’s intended to be used.

About Kodi

Kodi is a free and open source media player application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. Kodi is available for multiple operating-systems and hardware platforms, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.