In a publicity stunt so arcane it could almost involve the real Sepp Blatter, a South African discount airline called kulula is flying a dog named Sepp Blatter around the country throughout the World Cup.
kulula, which is one of those "fun" companies that leverages zany media hijinks into free advertising (just look at me falling for it), angered the human Sepp Blatter a few months ago when it marketed itself as "The Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What." The You-Know-What was (spoiler alert) the World Cup, and kulula hadn't paid to sponsor the World Cup, so FIFA threatened them with legal action, because for real, you can't even allude to the World Cup without money changing hands. It's like singing "Happy Birthday."
So either to make up for the "mistake" or to further their policy of associating themselves with the World Cup by any means possible, kulula ran another ad, this one apologizing to Sepp Blatter and offering to provide him with free transportation during the tournament. But some canny dog owners from Cape Town noticed (I'm not saying with kulula's help, but I'm not not saying it) that the ad didn't specify which Sepp Blatter the airline was looking to carry. So they got busy renaming their Boston terrier after the FIFA president. The airline, recognizing that a dog in a bafana bafana shirt was the best marketing scheme of all, was delighted.
"We were somewhat surprised that instead of flying the president of Fifa around we'll now be giving a seat to a Boston Terrier, but he's really quite cute and very well-behaved," the kulula marketing manager quipped. Which, to be fair, is more than you can say for the original Sepp Blatter.
You can read about the canine Sepp's adventures on the kulula Facebook page. There's probably a way to get a free sandwich out of this, but I haven't figured it out yet.
- Sepp Blatter