Creative or Crazy?

Posted on Thursday, July 8th, 2010 at 10:33 am by Engine Communications

Sir Pennywise - Community Bank

I used to live in a small town in Southern New York. In June of 2007 someone decided that it would be a great idea to raise money for charity while advertising for local businesses. This was accomplished using four-foot tall fiberglass squirrels. You know, kind of like the moose you see sometimes around Toronto, but not really. In Olean, NY, a person, or business could purchase one of these squirrels and customize it however they pleased. These sculptures were then places all over town, in front of businesses, along the streets, in parks, you name it, there are squirrels everywhere. To date there are twenty-five squirrels and counting.

Many businesses decided to decorate these squirrels as part of their local advertising. It was a visible sign of their contribution to the community. Interesting idea, in my opinion, perhaps a good idea gone wrong. Part of what made it so funny was you

Ronald McSquirrel - McDonalds

could walk down the street and see five squirrels before you would meet another person. I used to live just down the street from Ronald McSquirrel, I have to admit it never really made me want to go to McDonnalds. Had it not been located right across from the police station I would have put a paper bag over its head. Honestly, check it out! It is a little creepy.

Okay, seriously though, despite my little rant about the squirrels, I love it when people come up with innovative ideas. I also love to see businesses getting involved in the local community.  I might not be a big fan of this particular project, but I can’t argue with the fact that everyone talks about it. We take pictures of them, and I personally can’t deny a few late night Olean squirrel-hunting adventures. I have to acknowledge that in many ways Olean’s “Woodland in the City” campaign seems to be a success, and they have raised a lot of money to build a museum for children downtown. So tell me what you think, creative or crazy?

Cutter - Cutco Knife Factory

Florence Squirrelingale, RN - Olean General Hospital

Lady Justice - Dwyer, Black & Lyle PPC

Nutty O’ St. Nick - Olean Chamber of Commerce

{ 5 comments to read ... please submit one more! }

  1. Crazy… and creepy. Especially calling one of the squirrels “Cutter”!

  2. THIS IS AMAZING! Hilarious and it clearly works. I think it was noticed by residents, first hand, when these were first created — but it brings up a conversation every single time someone comes to visit you. “Whats with these squirrels?”

  3. It reminds me of the moose that they put all over Toronto awhile back. Interesting. It's definitely a talking point!

  4. ElectricWallpaper

    It's nuts! 😛

  5. Ronald McSquirrel just reminds me of a juggalo.

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