ZB is the Fraser Valley’s new ‘spokes-critter’ | SkyHiNews.com

ZB is the Fraser Valley’s new ‘spokes-critter’

Reid Armstrong
Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado
Courtesy photo

It’s a fox. It’s a raccoon. It’s … ZB! Whatever kind of animal he is, ZB is the newest member of the Winter Park/Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce’s marketing team.

Part fox, part raccoon, part squirrel, the nondescript woodland creature has been popping up across the valley for a few months now – wearing a whistle and holding a lifeguard float at the rec center, draped in scarves at Be Boutique in Cooper Creek Square and skiing through a window display at Grand Sports.

Designed by O2 Creative in Fraser and inspired by “Flat Stanley” – a popular elementary school project where students send a paper doll to somebody in another state who takes photos of themselves with the doll around town – the chamber marketing team created ZB as their own, portable “Spokes-Critter.”

The name ZB comes from the old Grand County license plate prefix. Even after the state switched away from tags that identify the county, many longtime locals have maintained the ZB in their custom plates or held onto their old ZB plates as momentos.

The chamber has been “leaking” ZB on Facebook and around town in hopes that his image might go “viral” before officially introducing him to the community.

The chamber has been passing out smaller cutouts of ZB to visitors to photograph on their adventures and to increase the viral exposure. The chamber invites visitors to send in pictures of themselves with ZB to post on Facebook.

ZB can also be a sales tool, according to chamber Marketing Director Diane Ehlert. Chamber members may request one complimentary 4-foot corrugated plastic ZB cutout sign to use at their place of business. The chamber suggests that members dress him up to reflect the company’s style. The ZB cutout is holding a blank sign that can be used to advertise specials, sales or upcoming events.

The chamber staff hopes that guests will begin to recognize ZB and to use him as a “vacation planning tool,” Ehlert said. The key to ZB’s success will be chamber members embracing him in their marketing strategy and keeping him fresh, moving him around, dressing him differently and changing his message regularly.

Live to play

In February, the chamber is holding a contest for its members with plans to reward businesses for the best use of ZB as a marketing tool.

Prizes will be given for the “Best Dressed” ZB, best use of ZB on a business website, Facebook, Twitter or email campaign, and best customer involvement, such as tacking up photos of ZB with customers or hanging children’s drawings of ZB on the wall at a restaurant.

Winners will receive a chamber marketing package valued at $1,000.

Winter Park/Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce members may enter the February “ZB” marketing contest by submitting examples of ZB in use at their place of business via email to ZB@PlayWInterPark.com or in person to the visitors center by Feb. 28.

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