Christopher Walken, who lent his signature husky Queens accent to animated movies like Antz and The Jungle Book, voices a tech-savvy squirrel in a new TV ad campaign by savings and investment app Acorns.
It turns out squirrels in nature bury their nuts and seeds in scattered locations as future food, only to see forgotten nuts grow into mighty oak trees. With that metaphor of burying acorns for possible future growth in mind, the creative team behind the app tapped Walken to voice the character of a no-nonsense New York City squirrel to get ordinary people to start investing for their future.
“We needed our squirrel to have a New York energy, to be able to weather all ups and downs. And Christopher Walken is the King of New York. So it was an obvious decision,” fellow New Yorker and Acorns CEO Noah Kerner tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Bringing his iconic yet unique voice to the “Squirrels Know Wealth” campaign, Walken’s resilient squirrel is all Wall Street theatrics as he urges investors from behind a trading desk to save and invest what they can for the future.
“Acorns — grow your oak!” Walken’s bushy-tailed critter says at the end of one spot. “Over time, all that spare change could grow into a mighty oak. That would be something, wouldn’t it?” his squirrel says at the end of a second TV commercial.
Acorns is part gamification as it looks to make investing for the long term fun, especially for young savers with small change. “From acorns, mighty oaks do grow!” is the company’s motto.
Despite Wall Street’s steep sell-off of late, Kerner sees the timing as perfect to launch the Acorns campaign across all advertising platforms, networks and social, including national broadcast and online platforms like YouTube starting Wednesday.
“The squirrel sustains, no matter the conditions. And so everybody out there today who’s invested in the market should be thinking long-term, if they can. They should not be panicking. They should be sticking with it,” the Acorns CEO said.