Russian Bank Offer ‘Free Cat’ With Every Mortgage
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Russian Bank Offer ‘Free Cat’ With Every Mortgage

Clock  2 minute read

Carl Shave Carl Shave | September 24, 2014

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As part of a bizarre, but admittedly quirky promotional campaign, Russia’s biggest bank Sberbank offered a free cat as part of the deal for new mortgage clients. To clarify, customers only had loan of the cat for 2 hours, as part of a Russian proverb that states, it is good fortune if a cat enters a new home ahead of the owners.

Clients had the option to choose from 10 available cats with names like Caesar and Caramel, although the bank limited the campaign to the first 30 new mortgages only. The campaign seems somewhat surreal, but industry insiders suggest that the move has been made with the ultimate goal of presenting a (to coin a phrase) “warm, fuzzy image”, since being slapped with European sanctions one month ago.

Inevitably, the campaign has bred some creative headlines, with The Guardian opting for “Russian bank offur-ing cats to mortgage customers – with just one claws”, whilst the campaign has generated some significant buzz on social media. One such Twitter user used the opportunity to criticise Sberbank tweeting, “Reduce your interest rates and people will have enough money to run a cat farm!”

Business Week reported that the current state of the Russian housing market positions Sberbank’s campaign as a needless move, with Russian people scrambling to put their savings into real estate as a response to the ruble plummeting. However we view it, Sberbank’s move is certainly an eye-catching one.

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