Price tag – up to £10,000 each.
What? I hear you exclaim.
Yes, this is one of several very successful ‘stunts’ that this area has seen over the last few years.
This involves an organisation in need of money, building up the tension by commissioning the creation of colourful models of animals.
These are dotted around the relevant area for quite a long time and then auctioned off to local businesses or individuals to raise money.
Tonight it’s all about gorillas, to raise funds for Bristol Zoo Gardens – a marvellous organisation for us living in the region.
These models have been dotted around for several months.
Watching the news tonight, the target of raising £100,000 by auctioning them off has been far exceeded.
The former swimmer Sharron Davies has bought a wonderful purple gorilla gilded with a silver leaf design. Where will she put it? I’d love to know.
Sounds mad – but I love it.
I recognise that the gorillas, all identical in size but all colourfully different, are not new.
We’ve already had pigs and lions in Bath.
And I’m sure someone somewhere has done the same with horses. But I think they are absolutely wonderful.
In Bristol, the gorillas popped up all around the city and captivated people, especially children.
They were not placed always in obvious places, though some were outside of particular business – perhaps those which sponsored their creation.
I regularly saw the dotty one outside the BBC signed by the DIY SOS team, one with colourful handprints outside Waitrose and a beautiful one in green pyjamas outside a city hotel.
Without fail, every time I saw these creatures at random times of day, photographs were being taken. It’s a gem for social media pr as well as traditional stuff.
They just brightened up the day when wandering round the city.
Even last week when attending an auction house near Bath, I walked into reception and there was a lion from a similar campaign. It was wonderful to see, you just have to touch it, feel it and enjoy it.
The PR value of these objects – which from a practical point of view could be seen as completely useless – has been powerful for the Bristol locality.
And for Bristol Zoo it may be a happy coincidence that one of their gorillas, Salome, gave birth to a new baby just this week. So gorillas are good, strong, local news this week.
The model gorillas will be a talking point for years to come for any business which snaps them up.
At the same time a local facility which carries out research into conservation of wildlife will now be at least £300,000 richer. Some people paid £10,000 for their gorillas.
My only wish – that I could afford to buy one too!!