Back in 2004, Crypton began putting characters on their products because they found it improved sales. Japan heavily uses mascots because a human is something that we are drawn to; perhaps it makes that ghostly voice in a box a little less strange. However, simply copying what works in Japan is unlikely to be successful; the West has completely different marketing traditions. I agree that, unfortunately, there is a stigma against the anime art style in English speaking countries. It is seen as both juvenile and a symbol of sexual deviancy. But the choice isn't 'anime characters or bust'. Illustration is an extremely varied practice, with a huge range of tones, styles and audiences. But the answer isn't as easy as 'don't use anime'. To use illustration successfully, the choice of artwork must be made carefully with your target audience in mind. An example: The target audience is music professionals. But this is still too broad. Let's narrow it down to music professionals that would be interested in using a strange new technology - vocal synthesis. Who are they? What style of marketing are they used to? How can this product stand out, without alienating them? So we decide to make a character. What style of art would they most be interested in? Are these musicians also fans of another form of entertainment, like video games? If so, can you draw inspiration for popular video games when creating your character? Japanese Vocaloid boomed thanks to using Otaku culture as their market. Could English vocal synths boom by using Western geek culture as their inspiration? In short, we can only speculate on what the market wants. The only way to know is to get out there and research the heck out of it.