The World's First Ad Campaign Aimed at Monkeys

David Ogilvy once said, "The consumer isn't a moron; she is a monkey." Kidding, of course. Leo Burnett said it. Anyway, two ad execs and an egghead from Yale have begun testing an ad campaign aimed at capuchin monkeys. I'm not sure why, since nonhuman primates have notoriously low buying power. And they're not exactly discriminating or brand loyal, being generally content to eat anything that rolls across the floor or gets snagged in the fur of their mates. Here's the idea: They're putting up billboards outside the monkeys' enclosure advertising a certain type of tasty food—Brand A. Most likely Jell-O. Then later, they'll be offered that food—along with another, equally tasty kind, Brand B. And we'll see which they prefer. (The results may or may not shed light on the human mind and its response to advertising.) Now, what sort of ad imagery might appeal to monkeys? My first thought: Kim Kardashian. And it turns out I'm not far off the mark. Says New Scientist: "One billboard shows a graphic shot of a female monkey with her genitals exposed, alongside the brand A logo. The other shows the alpha male of the capuchin troop associated with brand A." Exposed monkey genitals? I know I've got a sudden craving for Jell-O! One wonders if Keith Olwell, CEO of New York shop Proton Studio, managed to keep a straight face as he explained: "Monkeys have been shown in previous studies to really love photos of alpha males and shots of genitals, and we think this will drive their purchasing habits." If horny capuchins invade ShopRite and go ape in the Jell-O aisle, we'll have proof of that hypothesis. I say, never target an audience that throws feces when it's unhappy or doesn't get what it wants. To be safe, they might want to start with invisible monkeys and work upwards from there.