Worlds Collide

As we've mentioned here and there, Alex and I work at Company X. It is a big place, very corporate, very typical. We are creatives in a sea of non-creatives. Sometimes that can be a little lonely and, occasionally, frustrating. But, there are moments when we hit the happiness jackpot... and it keeps us sane. Yesterday we had one of those moments.

First some background: A few years back, we did an ad campaign that featured squirrels. There were huge squirrels on billboards, small ones on mailers, millions of them on newspaper inserts, and chattering squirrels on radio ads. The "sales" response rate was respectable, but the emotional response it generated was amazing. It was the only time we've ever had customers show up in our lobby looking to meet our creative/marketing staff, and to see if they could get their hands on more printed copies. The most notable of these visitors were the local firefighters from Ladder 2 who showed up, in full gear, after having responded to a call across the street. We were so proud. Then sales started dropping, and reluctantly we had to move on to a new, non-squirrel campaign. But, we always hoped to resurrect the squirrels again at some point.

Our Spokesquirrel: Chopper Crazypaws

Time shift to this past summer: Our senior-management team was out in the field. They were visiting offices around the country and they kept hearing how much people loved the squirrels and hoped to see them again. When they came back and reported this to marketing, a testing plan was hatched. Fourth quarter this year, we pulled out a sample group to send a "squirrel" version against our (non-squirrel) control. I am sad to report that the control was the winner and the squirrels will not be gracing billboards anytime soon. But, at the end of the day, it was amazing that customers had such an emotional tie to these "characters" that we actually took the time to test the campaign again.

What does this have to do with crafting, you ask? Well, as a result of this latest squirrel test, one of our customers sent us some hand-made goodness. I'm telling you the truth! Because she was responding to a "holiday card" (which was a thinly disguised sales message about our latest promotion) she sent us a crocheted angel ornament AND a crocheted squirrel magnet! The "card" that she was responding to was co-signed by the president of our company and our spokes-squirrel, Chopper Crazypaws - so she wanted to send both a gift. How sweet is that?

Crocheted Squirrel Magnet on Whiteboard
Crocheted Angel Ornament in Corporate Setting
Like the title of this post says, worlds collide. As marketing people, Alex and I are just amazed at how fond people are of a silly promotional tool like the squirrels. As crafters, we are especially touched by this gesture from one, loyal and sweet customer. It is one thing to give a gift, yet another to give such a thoughtful hand-made gift. So...Miss Nancy from Indiana, thank you! You are a treasure.


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