Cat owners, by and large, are a misunderstood group. Purina Cat Chow wanted to take a stand for cat owners and to instill a sense of pride in cat ownership. On April 1, 2012, we ran a 60 second spot during the Academy of Country Music awards. It was a spot unlike anything the category had ever seen featuring a diverse group of real cat owners standing up for cat owners across the country, all under the empowering and inclusive theme of “We are Cat People." The spot ended with a simple call to action for viewers to share their reasons for being a cat person on Twitter using the hashtag #catperson. This resulted in 16 million earned media impressions versus the 13 million paid TV impressions. The brand then live-streamed over 1,800 consumer tweets to a billboard in Times Square. A picture of every tweet on that billboard was tweeted back to the original author. The result? Lots and lots of surprised, happy, re-tweeting, status-updating cat owners. The campaign activated and connected cat owners not just in digital communities but in the real world as well. The commercial ran during the Academy of Country Music Awards and Purina Cat Chow took advantage of Twitter as a “second screen" for people watching the show. The tweets the brand promoted during that time related what viewers were seeing on TV to cat people. Did you know Miranda Lambert is a #catperson too? Cat owners everywhere joined the conversation with their own declarations. To further ignite this newfound sense of pride on the world’s largest stage, the brand live-streamed over 1,800 consumer tweets to a billboard in Times Square. People on the ground in New York City were watching proud cat owners taking a stand for their cats, from their living rooms – and the passerby could actually join in and be a part of it from the sidewalk. If that wasn’t enough, the brand connected the real world back to digital by capturing a photo of each tweet on the billboard and tweeting it back to the authors to give them a glimpse of their moment in Times Square. This campaign used multiple mediums to connect Sunday night TV to a social network, a social network to a live billboard in NYC and the billboard back to the Sunday night living room in a way that resulted in three trending hashtags and an outpouring of pride and passion from cat owners across the country.
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