A free cat with every mortgage: odd cat promotions

Sarah Coles
Free cat with every mortgage
Free cat with every mortgage

Russia's largest bank has introduced a bizarre new promotion. Customers who take out a home loan with Sberbank will get a cat thrown in for free. It offers a choice of ten different breeds, and your cat of choice will be sent round when you move in.

Unfortunately cat lovers won't get to keep their new feline friend, because the small print makes it clear they'll only be able to borrow it for two hours. In Russia it's traditionally lucky for a cat to be first to cross the threshold, so this gives you long enough for good luck and a few photos. The details were revealed by TD Journal and translated by the BBC.

The video has gone viral, and although its in Russian, you can get the gist

Of course, the whole thing is clearly an outlandish publicity stunt, but they're not the first to hire cats for PR purposes.

Cat stunts
In October last year, taxi ordering app Uber decided to cash in on National Cat Day. It offered its users in New York, San Francisco and Seattle the chance to order a kitten to be delivered for 15 minutes of play - at a cost of $20. Proceeds were donated to a cat shelter and all the kittens were available for adoption. The company warned at the time that demand was expected to be high and the number of on-demand kittens was limited.

When cult band Devo released 'Something for Everybody' in 2010 they decided the best way to advertise it was to put a bunch of cats in a room and play it to them - releasing it online as a Cat Listening Party. It was viewed over 50,000 times.

And sixteen years ago we saw possibly the best cat publicity stunt - which happened purely by accident. The residents of a small town in Alaska didn't like the candidates for mayor, so decided to nominate Stubbs the cat. Stubbs was duly elected and has been re-elected ever since. He now has 3,000 Facebook friends (three times as many as the town has residents), and locals say they have around 30 tourists visit the tiny town every day to see the mayor.

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Cat Lovers Unite at the Cat Video Festival 2014
Cat Lovers Unite at the Cat Video Festival 2014