International icon and unofficial king of Spain, Paul the Oracle Octopus has officially retired from the World Cup match-predicting racket and may now be used to cash in. According to CNN, the Sea Life aquarium where Paul resides is entertaining offers for Paul's promotional services and PR people are drooling over his potential to make millions.
PR guru Max Clifford, best known for generating tabloid headlines such as "Freddie Starr ate my hamster," believes Paul, who was born in England, has ended his soothsaying days at exactly the right time. "Obviously his 100 percent record is remarkable but the minute he gets it wrong it all disappears," Clifford told CNN.
Now Paul could star in light-hearted commercials. "If you get it right, and remember Paul has had worldwide success ... you're talking about an earning potential of £2 or £3 million (up to $4.5 million), maybe more. It's got to bring a smile to everybody's face. You've got the world's first multimillion-pound octopus here.
Up to $4.5 million for the endorsement of an octopus that ate a clam out of a box labeled with the flag of a match-winning team eight consecutive times? It's ridiculous, but when you consider the money paid to humans who have done far less than that to endorse a wide range of horrible products, it starts to make sense.
[Video: Watch the octopus in action]
The only problem with Paul? He's just six months shy of the average three-year lifespan for an octopus. Then again, that's probably a generous assessment of how long people will remember him anyway.
Another expert agreed, saying there was no limit to the ways in which Paul could be marketed. "Obviously he has a short shelf life but there are many options," said Allyson Stewart-Allen, director of London-based International Marketing Partners.
"A good use for him would be in adverts featuring two competing brands, such as Coke or Pepsi. Which does Paul prefer?" said Stewart-Allen.
"The gaming industry would be the logical use for Paul, or marketing a service that compares the market. Or he could just be an icon, marketing a company like Octopus Travel, for instance.
So keep an eye out for Paul the octopus billboards, TV ads and Happy Meal toys over the coming months. Followed by the most expensive octopus dish ever.
Photo: Getty Images