Last year around this time, i wrote about advertising’s favorite scent: “Swagger“. This time around the business has moved on to another obsession: Cats.
I won’t hide the fact that i’m allergic to cat hair. Probably why it took me so long to get around writing this story. But it had to be done. So here we go.
Cats. The internet is obsessed with Cats. In fact 75% of mobile content is cat related. (zuckerberg predicted it last year, and it happened) I honestly don’t get it, but it seems to be working. The advertising world took note of this craze and adapted swiftly. Generating hours of content around feline.
Culturally I still don’t understand what it is about Cat videos that captivates people that much. Is it the way they look? is it their eyes? fur or purr? I don’t think there’s a definite answer. But the real insight here comes from us trying to record or emulate what cats are thinking while they’re doing all these stupid things.
Here’s a list of why I think people like cat videos or are trying to caption what they’re thinking:
- They are cute (I don’t think so, but most people do)
- They are smart.
- They’re proud/jerks
Let’s take a look at all these points again. The cuteness and the fluffiness of these felines make them appealing to the eye. They also have that stature and elegance that gives them grace in motion. Cats are smart. They solve puzzles and never miss an opportunity to get in then run out of trouble. Finally they’re proud or jerks depending at how you look at it. Because if they’re going to go out at night and have you worried sick just to show up in the morning and demand that you give them breakfast, and of course you oblige, that’s a jerk. (if you recognize yourself in this last statement, you need to reevaluate the power ratio in that relationship)
In fact the fascination comes from the fact that people are either looking to be like them (gracious, cute, elegant) or want revenge from the humiliation received from the power struggle. Either way, people thus the internet is in love with Cats. Advertising, the science of pop culture engineering (that’s right mom, i’m an engineer), took note and applied it to communication solutions.
It all started a year ago with Ikea’s Happy inside and Skittles Touch the rainbow.(both covered here) Since then, agencies have been on that cat craze and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. If you look online you’ll find the most shared cat advertisement. Contrarily to what you might think, there’s a lot of those out there. So much that i actually have a shortlist.
Here’s my shortlist:
The Shelter Pet project – Sand Box
Animal Humane society – I want
My all time favorite still is Touch the Rainbow (it’s so well played and executed it’s kind of freaky!!)
Now if you don’t believe me, or think I just waisted time sharing my insights about this, you should watch this video.
Whether or not you decide to use them, Cats are here people. Get with the program.