Author: Sammy Sadler
Cats are a bit marmite aren’t they? Nobody ever really admits to sitting on the fence about felines – you either love them or hate them. I sit firmly in the cat lover camp and nothing brings me more joy than illustrating my tweets with hilarious cat GIFs and it turns out that I’m not alone. So, in the spirit of International Cat Day, let’s have a look at why cats could be your marketing kryptonite.
Over the years there has been conflicting research on whether or not cats have taken over the internet, with some sources claiming that cat videos make up about 30 percent of all internet traffic, a stat which was disregarded in New York Museum exhibition ‘How Cats Took Over The Internet’. Regardless of that and the question of whether people search for dogs or cats more (it’s dogs by the way) many of us can’t help but think that the internet was made for cat content.
Grumpy Cat, BaneCat, Lil Bub, the list is endless when it comes to naming the comical felines that we have fallen in love with and in turn are racking up millions of YouTube views. The recently passed Grumpy Cat’s net worth has even been cited as $100 million although her owner claimed this not to be true.
But it’s not just the ‘famous felines’ that get all of the attention. Lolcat became an internet sensation of memes and we have a plethora of images, GIFs and videos at our fingertips to binge on cat-related content. But why should that make a difference to your marketing?
Even though these loveable kitties may not be necessarily marketing anything, their ability to make people laugh triggers one of the most important marketing tools out there – the power of the giggle.
Paddy Power is a perfect example of this. Although it isn’t posting cats everywhere, the brand uses humour in a way that will specifically appeal to its audience and as a result it has easily become one of the most recognised brands in the UK.
People love to laugh so why do we take marketing so seriously all of the time? The need for serious messaging will always be there but can we not have a bit of fun every now and again? You may not be opting to choose a sassy Persian cat to head up your brand anytime in the near future, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still opt for something that’ll make your audience chuckle or coo.
And it’s not just what makes you chuckle, there are so many ways you can harness what the experts call ‘emotive marketing’:
Controversial or not controversial? That is the question
Controversy has been known to have great results in the past but it’s not always something that you should opt for. You need to be a brand that has a challenger attitude and is unafraid of criticism, and debate – and even then, you should always stay on the right side of what is tasteful.
Who finds it funny? You or your audience?
We’ve spoken a lot about considering who your audience is, especially when it comes down to your communications strategy. Just because you find something hilarious or cute, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the audience of your brand will think the same. Analysing what your social followers already engage with will give you a big indication of what they like and don’t like – go with that.
Keeping it consistent
Tying in with the controversial tip, any content should be appropriate to everything else you are putting out there. Throwing in a curveball every now and again doesn’t hurt but if you go off piste radically you could damage your brand’s story irreversibly.
Don’t try too hard
Do be brave and take yourself and your brand out of the comfort zone a little bit – but nobody likes a try-hard. Make sure you are being topical and witty when you choose that next funny GIF, otherwise you’ll lose respect – a bit like telling a cheesy joke at a party!