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Giant gets a happy meal

By Staff | Mar 31, 2019

Ethan Clerc, foreground, during the filming of the video.

After years of standing tall and looking over at the Blue Earth McDonald’s restaurant and drooling, the Green Giant statue in Blue Earth finally had a “happy meal.”

Sort of.

A video that has been shared repeatedly on Facebook appears to show three young men going through the McDonald’s drive-through and getting two for $5 fish filet sandwiches.

They suddenly hear a booming voice and learn it is the Green Giant statue who wants a sandwich too.

They try and toss one up to his mouth because he says he can’t use his arms. Then they eventually use a drone to deliver a fish sandwich to the Giant.

With the video being shared far and wide, especially locally, people have been asking who made the video, and are the three young men from Blue Earth.

The answer is, no, they are not.

The three young men are from Mankato, formerly of Windom. The leader of the group is Ethan Clerc, and the other two are his brother Colin and their friend and roommate Matt Theesfeld.

Ethan Clerc, just 21, owns his own video and media production company called EC Media.

“We make videos for companies and non-profits,” Clerc says. “And we have made several for McDonald’s.”

That is because he has an in with McDonald’s of South Central Minnesota. His father, Rick Clerc, and grandfather, Wes Clerc, own five McDonald’s, including in Windom, Fairmont, St. James and Blue Earth.

“We have made a video for each of those McDonald’s, as well as in Mankato, Northfield and Faribault,” he says. “They are meant to be shared on their Facebook pages.”

So, Clerc created the idea for the one for Blue Earth which included the Green Giant.

“He is like what Blue Earth is known for,” Clerc says. “But a lot of folks don’t realize he is here in Blue Earth. Our idea was to promote not just McDonald’s, but Blue Earth and the Giant, too.”

Clerc says he has seen that there has been some concern about a drone being close to the Giant and possibly causing some damage.

“I was surprised by that. Harming the Giant was never our intent,” he says. “And the drone was never as close to the statue as it might appear in the video. But, I do understand the town’s concern about avoiding any chance of damaging the statue.”

Besides his commercial advertising and promotional videos, which he is paid for, Clerc also does a podcast in Mankato that has become quite well-known. The Mankato Free Press did a story about his podcast just last month.

And if that is not enough, he has already made four full-length films. The last one, called “Cottonwood,” just became finished and was available in January.

“They were all shot in the Windom area,” he says. “The last one also was filmed some in Mankato. And they feature local community people as the cast members. “

After graduating from high school in Windom, Clerc went to college in Chicago for a while, but dropped out and moved to Mankato to focus on his new company.

“I really enjoy doing creative things,” Clerc says. “It can be a lot of work but a lot of fun, too.