Want more publicity? Get a cute animal

Take a look at this short piece on the BBC news website.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/8108319.stm

Picture by scrapstothefuture

At the moment it’s the fifth most popular article on the BBC news site and you can be sure that it’ll be picked up in

hundreds of other websites, tweeted about, covered in many social media websites and generally talked about all over the Internet.  It’ll probably be covered hardest in the local media since it’s been so heavily featured nationally.

What all of this coverage adds up to is tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of publicity.  And all they had to do was to get a cute duck, a few photos and a few quotes.  Simple!

Whether the restaurant went out to get this result with the duck or not, I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure they’ll be delighted with the results and their bookings will be well up for the summer.  It’s a brilliant example of how simple viral marketing can be.

Maybe I should change our company name to Cute Kitten SEO – every new client gets a cute kitten and a ball of string.  All I need to do is write a press release, including some cute pictures with happy clients and their kittens, then sit back and enjoy the publicity.  Then I can get a second wave when I get some animal rights protestors to attack our offices demanding that we stop exploiting kittens.  Genius!

How about you? What are your ideas for using cute animals for publicity?