Monkey Madness Generates PR Opportunities

Utilizing the presence of an unlikely local celebrity, GTE Federal's promotion boosts new member interest while reaffirming the credit union's investment in Florida communities.


Amid a recovering housing market, high unemployment, and the BP spill that threatens its famed beaches, Florida has one thing residents can’t help but smile about, a run-away rhesus monkey. 

The formidable, dexterous and according to The Colbert Report, perhaps “drug addled” monkey has been loose in the Tampa area long enough to gain not only a local following but national news coverage and a Facebook page  with nearly 80,000 fans.

Utilizing their famed resident as a way to further develop local identity and bring in new membership, GTE Federal Credit Union ($1.6B, Tampa, Florida) created  a "Mystery Monkey Tour” competition. 

$1,500 will be awarded to the first individual to identify the monkey’s “favorite locations” based off of picture clues, or awarded to the “monkey” via the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary if no one wins by the end of the month (a donation will be made to the sanctuary in any case). 

The credit union is also giving away free T-shirts, featuring the monkey to anyone who joins GTE by July 16. 

Aside from encouraging a bit of lighthearted fun, the program also exemplifies how credit union’s close ties to their community can transition into opportunities for unique PR events, website activities and a stronger community identity overall.


July 7, 2010


  • I'm asking for a mystery monkey t-shirt for my birthday.
    Matt Hand
  • Great article! The Mystery Monkey Tour was a lot of fun! The last clue is posting tonight on GTE FCU's Facebook page. Hope I'm the winner!!!
    Jennifer Maxfield
  • Great article. I've been following the monkey on facebook. Live free Mr. Monkey! Zoom...Zoom!
    Kitty Crispell
  • Leave it to the idiots at the helm of GTE to devise a crappy promo such as this. Without Bucky, they're going down the drain.......
    Wild Bill