The creator behind ‘Anyone’ – the Fire Services Department’s popular mascot – said on Friday he had not expected the blue enigma to become a hit.
Superintendent Chou Wing-yin, who came up with the character, said his creation was quite a departure from the usual breed of Hong Kong government mascots.
“‘It’s a very rare opportunity to have such a large department tolerate our creativity,” he said. “The department has been putting the public’s interests first.”
“‘Anyone’ represents any member of the public – this is our original design intention. ‘Anyone’ is not a person, it is a concept. I hope when everyone sees ‘Anyone,’ they will think that they can help others when needed,” he added.
The mascot first became a viral hit in November after it appeared at a press conference to demonstrate CPR and using a fire extinguisher. The video helped spawn a slew of online parodies by product brands, NGOs and even politicians.
Chou said people who were inside the costume – some were actors but most were paramedics – could be diverse.
“We wanted to create a cartoon character, like a big stuffed character that you see handing out pamphlets on the streets. But then we realised that if we did that, [the character] would not be able to perform CPR, because it would have no fingers,” Chou said.
Chou said it took two months to create the blue persona, starting with the initial design process to the completed videos.
In a new video set to be released, our blue hero will star in story in which a 60-year-old father is rescued by CPR.
Chou did not disclose the the project’s budget but said the production had been “very cost-effective.”
Superintendent Suki Ng said the popularity of “Anyone” had boosted demand for the department’s first aid courses, and had even created a waiting list.