Sherlock the beagle aids KLM's Lost & Found Team in returning items to forgetful passengers, as seen in the viral video, but is it too good to be true?

Cherlyn Tung  |  Singapore
Published 2014-09-26 14:30:15

Sherlock the beagle has been making its rounds on the Internet, stealing hearts everywhere. You may have watched the viral video from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, awed by the intelligence of the adorable canine. But we’re here to tell you that sometimes, news like this is often too good to be true. In a world full of internet hoaxes and advertisements, one’s bound to take you by surprise.

Doesn’t this ad make you want to intentionally leave your belongings behind in the aircraft? Having a cute dog run up to you with your item in its back pocket just sums up the perfect “awww” moment.

KLM set up a lost and found team at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol after it received numerous queries on its social media, from passengers regarding belongings left in the plane. The team adopted a unique factor, by choosing a real life beagle as their mascot.

True to its name, the ad shows Sherlock being trained to sniff out the scent of the owner from the lost object, then proceed to search the airport for him or her. The items range from mobile phones, headphones and even stuffed toys.

Image Credit: KLM Lost & Found Service, YouTube

Sandra List, a member of Team Lost & Found, shared that their main goal is to return lost items to the owner in the fastest time possible. While they monitor social media and get their crew to check for forgotten items after every flight, they are glad to have Sherlock to aid them with that.

Image Credit: KLM Lost & Found Service, YouTube
Image Credit: KLM Lost & Found Service, YouTube

“We train for muscle strength, endurance, and of course socialisation,” said Dirk Van Driel, Sherlock’s trainer, “When you see the reactions of the passengers, that really is amazing.”

Throughout the video, the friendly beagle is spotted to be bringing smiles of joy to everyone in the airport, gathering choruses of praise wherever it went. The vest, which Sherlock wears, proves to be both functional and adorable at the same time, as the item can be kept in its pockets. One member of the public was astounded when Sherlock came running to his side, delivering to him the headphones he had previously left behind.

Image Credit: KLM Lost & Found Service, YouTube
Image Credit: KLM Lost & Found Service, YouTube

The video has already garnered over 2 million viewers since its release 3 days ago, and it’s needless to say that the glorified pup is a media success.

While people were enthralled by the genius idea, some posed questions, as they pondered about the authenticity of the campaign. Yes, airports do employ guard dogs to patrol for banned items from time to time, but having a dog on board just to return lost items to forgetful passengers seem kind of unrealistic.

Alas, the truth was uncovered when Reddit user Moracin divulged information from a translated interview (using Google Translate) on a Dutch website given by KLM spokesperson Joost Ruempol.

“The dog is purely used to symbolise the active way in which the team will search for owners and unite them with their lost possessions.”

Image Credit: www.fastcocreate.com
Image Credit: www.fastcocreate.com

Alex Herwig and Jeroen Thissen, representatives from DDB & Tribal Worldwide, the advertising agency responsible for the video, confirmed through MediaBistro that Sherlock was not a permanent member of the KLM lost and found team, and was merely a mascot.

The duo carried on breaking hearts by saying, “We were told that the members of KLM’s Lost & Found team sometimes track down passengers before they even realise they’ve lost something. We feel they are a bit like detectives. So to illustrate that KLM goes above and beyond for their passengers, we decided to involve a search dog.”

What a bummer. Just when we thought it was too good to be true, it turned out to be a genius marketing ploy.

On the bright side though, we can be assured that the airlines’ lost and found team will always deliver. It was also mentioned that Sherlock might make a second appearance in the near future, so be on the lookout!

Subscribe to Vulcan Post Newsletter

Stay updated with our weekly curated news and updates.
Read more about our privacy policy here.