Dutch airline KLM's newest recruit may only be the star of a new marketing campaign, but he is still arguably its cutest yet.A plucky little beagle named Sherlock stars in a video posted to YouTube. Instead of sniffing bags for illegal substances, Sherlock's job is to return lost and forgotten items on flights to their rightful owner.
Items left behind -- teddy bears, headsets, and smartphones -- are given a few good sniffs by the worker dog and strapped into his pocket vest. Sherlock is then unleashed to run throughout the airport and reunite lost items with their rightful owner.
The marketing stunt had succeeded in duping many of the world’s media outlets into reporting that the Dutch airline had hired a sweet little dog to help reunite passengers with items they’d forgotten on the plane.
The PR stunt was outed in an interview with MediaBistro, in which the ad agency DDB & Tribal Worldwide admitted the video was a lie. Arguably a cruel one.
The use of canine staff has become a growing trend in the airline industry. Last year, the Los Angeles Airport launched its operation "Pets Unstressing Passengers," or PUP, enlisting specially trained dogs to patrol the terminals in a de-stressing program. Passengers are invited to cuddle and nuzzle the furry canines, a therapeutic method aimed at easing the stress of flying.
This summer, British Airways launched a new in-flight channel dubbed "Paws and Relax TV" dedicated entirely to animals, likewise in a bid to reduce stress levels and put flyers at ease.