Squirrels are hot again, thanks to the now-famous photo above, taken with an automatic timer, of Melissa Brandts and her husband—and a sudden rodent interloper—posing by a lake in Canada's Banff National Park. Now, American Airlines is citing the photo as a reason to re-air the spot below, which first ran in the spring, featuring an annoying director making an ad about Parisian squirrels who ride bikes. And they're not just bringing the ad back. The airline has also sent out a goofy press release that says it's launching an "investigation" into the identity of the Banff squirrel. "With the 'scene-stealing squirrel' phenomenon sweeping the digital world, American Airlines is determining whether the rodent is, in fact, the same squirrel that appeared in its recent TV commercial," the memo says. Evp of marketing Dan Garton is then made to say embarrassing things like, "There were signs that he might be a bit of a publicity hound—well, rodent." Bill Oakley, ecd at TM Advertising, is forced to add: "We're not sure of the actual nationality of said squirrel—not sure whether he’s French at all. … Since he popped up in Banff, maybe he's Canadian." Seems a bit much. In any case, American aren't the only ones trying to capitalize. Banff and Lake Louise Tourism has already set up squirrel accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
—Posted by Tim Nudd