Snakes on a Cane Take Over Philly Streets

What does the street graffiti mean?

By Dan Stamm
|  Thursday, Sep 3, 2009  |  Updated 6:23 AM EDT
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Snakes on a Cane Take Over Philly Streets

Scott Meyer

This is what the Snakes on a Cane look like.

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You might have noticed something strange afoot in downtown Philadelphia recently as medical-looking symbols appeared painted on sidewalks and street corners.

The scrub-blue snakes wrapping around a pole look similar to the iconic medical symbol Caduceus.

It was exactly the type of thing we come to expect see on the "What The?" section of NBC Philadelphia's So My Philly section.

Upon closer examination, though, the emblem featured no regular cane but rather a more traditional-looking walking cane.

Hold on what does it all mean?

This street graffiti doesn’t have a medical message but rather an entertainment significance. In the spirit of previous incognito street art campaigns from “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” to “Watchmen,” the “Snakes on Cane” campaign is out there to promote a TV Show.

The street art was meant to promote the sixth season of the TV show “House.”

The “Snakes on a Cane” idea obviously was a play on the horror flick “Snakes on a Plane.” And the walking cane featured is similar to the one used by Hugh Lurie’s Dr. Gregory House on the show.

So viola, throw it all together with t-shirts and a Web site (SnakesonaCane.com) and you have yourself a viral campaign geared towards getting people to tune into the season premiere on Monday Sept. 21 (Darn -- we just gave them even more press didn’t we?)

It’s worth mentioning that even though “House” airs on Fox affiliates it is produced by NBC Philadelphia’s parent company NBC Universal. Also the Snakes on a Cane Web site was registered to Twentieth Century Fox.

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