03/08/2012 01:34 pm ET Updated Mar 08, 2012

Giraffe At The Newseum? 12-Foot Animal Used For Residence Inn Promotion

WASHINGTON -- If you saw a 12-foot-tall giraffe standing outside the Newseum on Thursday, you weren't hallucinating.

A giraffe named Dude held court in front of the Pennsylvania Avenue institution as part of a promotional event for Residence Inn, Marriott's brand of extended-stay hotels.

Dude is one of the many wild kingdom characters featured in Residence Inn's new ad campaign, which promotes the increased role of long-term travel in the American economy. He hung out in front of the Newseum, in a specially-tented area, until 1 p.m.

What giraffes have to do with hotels, we aren't quite sure.

But, let this be a lesson to other companies: If you want your ad campaign to get some attention, simply procure a giraffe for promotional purposes.

It should be noted, however, that from the looks of the Newseum's Facebook wall, it looks like not everyone is so pleased about the use of a live animal in such a promotion.