Whiplash is a 19-year-old Capuchin monkey from Texas. He saddles up on a border collie named Ben, wears a sombrero, and rides to the rescue bearing Mexican fast-food.
At least in the ads. Whiplash was a genuine cowboy-monkey riding the rodeo circuit before he was cast as the food saving hero of the Taco John's ads last year. Like any star Whiplash has his own site at whiplashrides.com, and his own acting quirks: Don't make eye contact with him. On the first day of the first shoot the guy playing the Taco John's employee learnt this the hard way as he took three claws to the cheek. As long as you don't stare whiplash down, he won't lash out.
Whiplash is the answer to Minneapolis-based Kerker ad agency prayers, he's a popular repeat character that has given the brand an 11 percent sales growth in the past year. Copywriter Terry Thomas who first spotted him at the rodeo last year must be well chuffed with his casting of the monkey cowboy.
"Much like the Lone Ranger serials or the Green Hornet, they all have a classic Americana genre kind of feel of the imperiled heroine in that case, but the imperiled food in this case," said Kerker creative director Chris Preston. "And doing that classic story again and again with different variations is really part of the challenge in this campaign and the fun."
So don't expect Whiplash to go away anytime soon. And yes, he still rodeos.
Taco John adverts starring our favorite cowboy monkey!
Taco John's - Crunchy Chicken Rides Again