March 2007 gave birth to Knut, the übercute baby icebear in the Berlin Zoo. A unique event, since it was 30 years ago a baby icebear was born in the zoo. Within weeks, Knut has become a mediastar. And as we know, no stars without a little controversy. Since the bear was abandoned by its mother, the baby bear is being raised on milk by its attendants. This "manual" raising of a baby bear is unnatural and unwated, says animal-rights activist Frank Albrecht and therefore the cute bear should be killed. Of course, this sparked the public's sympathy for the animal. In the meanwhile, babybear Knut is Big Business. And we mean BIG. Everyday, 800 teddybear versions of knut are sold for at least 11,95 euro. There are Knut-ringtones, keycords and DVD's for the eager fanbase. But there's more. All this attention has driven the Berlin Zoo's shares upto 4.000 euros, coming from 2.000. Images no longer represent products, but products represent images in todays Global Image Economy. This phenomena is definately no biomimicmarketing, but how to label it then? Biomarketing? Shareholderscuddlevalue? One thing's for sure: the toys are us.
Die Zeit on babybear Knut
The Sun on Babybear Knut