Kitty goes guerrilla (Cats Against Clay case study)
Feline Pine wasn’t content being the best-selling natural cat litter in the country. Having claimed dominant share in that niche, it was now time to start clawing market share away from the category’s true brand leaders–the giant clay litter companies. The challenge was to transition Feline Pine from the alternative king into a competitor for market share in the mainstream.
CatsAgainstClay.org gained more followers on Facebook than any litter company, including Feline Pine, within three months of launch. It is also one of the highest traffic websites in the litter business. The confusion and intrigue caused by the campaign sparked consumers to start questioning clay for the first time. It created a new, distinct community for the brand of new, highly engaged followers. Even Promo, Brandweek, Chief Marketer, and American and international bloggers caught on to the fun, running feature stories on this out-of-the-box idea.
How We Got There
Research revealed that consumers who bought clay-based litter understood very little about its potentially harmful affects. After all, no matter what type of litter they put in their cat’s box, the cat never complained or refused to use it (although some cats got very sick). What would cats say about dusty, toxic, clay-based litter if they could speak for themselves? Unable to find a sample of verbally gifted felines, we did the next best thing and created a quasi-revolutionary movement of blogging cats, who in a six-month period gained national attention through their acts of resistance.
Cats Against Clay became a stealth campaign and movement based on various, random acts of resistance—among other things, a YouTube-filmed Berkeley protest march, secret sidewalk pressure-washed messages, billboards, social protests, a blog authored by underground feline members, and a full page ad in the New York Times, which generated so much intrigue that it crashed the NY Times switchboard for a whole morning. Our avid fans requested the ad as a poster and we responded by giving away 10,000 prints. Cat lovers understood the semi-sinister, plotting nature of these stealth cats and loved it. The next step was to reveal the benefactor of the campaign, Feline Pine, and drive direct sales off a distinctly indirect approach.
Written by Kylie Hughes for Concentric Marketing’s website re-launch in October 2010. Concentric Marketing is a niche, full-service branding agency located in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can check it out at: http://www.getconcentric.com/portfolio/cats-against-clay