Canine service design – it could be real

USDA poster, photo Mark Hillary (CC by 2.0)

We were gutted to find out that KLM’s lost-and-found-and-Track-You-Down beagle, Sherlock, was just a marketing story*, not the front line of service innovation. Because it could work.

SeaTac airport in Seattle has been using beagles as customs sniffer dogs for around ten years. They successfully find contraband with such cuteness that I’m sure smugglers do it as a little game to test the hounds.

True, if KLM wanted to make it a real service, there could issues of scaleability. And ok, it doesn’t work once the object’s owner has left the building. But what a great brand “moment of truth.”

I’ll bet that yesterday there were a lot of service designers out there saying “wish I had thought of that!”

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the KLM advert.



* here is the expose of the story.