September 15, 2016

#CatsNotAds – Putting Their Paws Down on Advertising

By Figaro Digital

grumpy cat

Mind the cat… sorry, we mean gap! We may have heard a lot recently about the rise of ad blockers, but one new campaign has taken an unusual slant on this by transforming one of London’s busiest tube stations with pictures of our favourite feline friends.

Whether you’re a crazy cat lady or not, you’re sure to find this week’s project amusing.

What is #CatsNotAds?

Take a ride on the London Underground and you will quickly become aware of the many advertisements that line the walls of the tube stations around the capital. But a new movement has this week said “NO” to being bombarded by poster ads from every angle.

#CatsNotAds, a project by a new volunteer collective called Glimpse, has transformed Clapham Common Tube Station in South London by replacing all advertisements with pictures of moggies. 68 cat portraits now hang in poster frames along corridors and adorn turnstile bases and will do for the next two weeks.


Just, Why?

Well, the team behind the makeover have said they want to use their advertising powers for good and to make commuters smile during one of the most stressful parts of their day. Glimpse founder, James Turner, has said:

“The idea is that it creates a peaceful, hopefully quite fun and funny space that you walk through on your way to work,”
“We want to inspire people to think differently about the world and realize they have the power to change it,”

However, the team want to make the point that this is not a jibe at the marketing community. As Turner continues:

“It’s important to say that we’re not against advertising,”
“We need creativity more than ever, to open our eyes to new ways of looking at the world and thinking about our place within it. We want agencies and brands to be mindful of the power they wield and to use it to encourage positive values in society.”

How Did They Do It?

The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (CATS) was a Kickstarter campaign that saw 680 contributors donate £23,131 to this unique venture. It also allowed people to make a £100 pledge which would see their own felines find fame. As Turner explains:

“Back in February we asked ourselves to ‘imagine a world where friends and experiences were more valuable than stuff you can buy,'”
“The team began thinking about crowdfunding to replace tube adverts with something else. Beautiful forests? Time spent with family? Hmmm. We wanted this to become famous, so we needed something the internet would love.”

The answer seemed obvious: cats!




Get Involved!

Have you taken a fancy to one of the moggies? Well a number of the pictured pussies are from Cats Protection, the UK’s largest feline welfare charity, and can be adopted.


If you’ve seen or been involved with a campaign that you think would trump this kitty Kickstarter, tweet us @Figaro_Digital.

Read more: Five of Our Favourite Online Campaigns So Far in 2016

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By Figaro Digital