Thursday, July 8, 2010

Paul the Psychic Octopus

World cup fever reigns supreme!
Another day of writing about airport chaos, demands for hotels in Joburg ahead of the final match and all the rest.
A local communications dude sent in a pretty interesting press release in which he reated the top World Cup campaigns pulled off by creative marketers on a shoestring budget, bypassing Fifa's mafia-like iron grip and control over all things related to soccer.
Of course Bavaria breweries with their orange dresses in the ambush marketing campaign was up with with the best. But strangely enough, they were topped by the aquarium in Germany which has managed to go global with their Paul the Psychic Octopus.
Paul, it seems, has maintained a 100% correct prediction rate in picking the winning team in all Germany's matches.
Yes, this squirmy creature in a tank has managed to accurately identify which team will win simply by picking his food out of glass boxes marked with flags. Each time he has whipped his mussels or clams or whatever octopi eat out of the box with the flag of the team which then goes on to win the match of the day.
So far this has been limited to matches in which Germany plays - and since they lost to Spain last night, perhaps Paul's psychic abilities will no longer work - since he is a German octopus.
However, a Dutch colleague of mine who has been walking around in orange for weeks and is a huge participant of the Hup Holland Hup brigade, is hopeful. He bounded joyfully through the newsroom this afternoon after Oracle Paul apparently picked his food out of the Netherlands box when presented with the flags of the teams that have made it through to Sunday's historic final match.
Yes - Paul picked the Dutch team over Spain.
Methinks Paul is dicing with death and might end up as calamari after the weekend!
So strange to see the hopes of the world swayed by the whims of an octopus.

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