Dress a chimp in a suit and–voilà!–you’ve got a TV commercial. Writer’s block solved.
Remember CareerBuilder’s award-winning series of Super Bowl spots featuring chimps as difficult work colleagues?
Now, the chimps have been “retired.”
Due to recent pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other animal-rights groups, many ad agencies and their clients have agreed to stop using great apes in the commercials they produce. The case against using chimps in advertising is based upon the cruelty of their procurement, training and eventual disposal.
None of which explains the current popularity of squirrels in advertising.
Squirrels, specifically the computer-animated variety, are the rage. In countless TV spots for a range of advertisers, they talk, dance, sing, brew beer, clip coupons, attack humans and play soccer.
Why squirrels? And why the me-too creativity?
Here is a sampling, both foreign and domestic, of TV spots featuring squirrels for clients Sears, DirecTV, Pepto To Go, Geico, Bud Light, Bridgestone, Carlsberg Sport, KitKat and Smithwick’s. It’s a squirrel-athon.