Cats not Ads! Nigel talks to BBC Radio Nottingham.

It is always a pleasure to get a call from the BBC asking me to go on air and comment on a news issue related to marketing, advertising or PR.

The most recent call came before lunch yesterday asking to be interviewed live by Verity Cowley on the BBC Radio Nottingham evening drive time programme.

An interesting news piece had been picked up on social media that morning about some sort of cat appreciation society booking ads at a tube station.

Like any good marketing man, I did my homework so that I was prepared to go live at 5.30pm.

It seems that the Citizens Advertising Take-Over Service had launched a KickStarter campaign earlier this year to raise money for the event. It involved buying all 68 advertising spaces at Clapham Common tube station for a period of 2 weeks. They wanted to replace all the normal ads marketing cars, beans and washing powder with pictures of cats.

A total of 700 cat loving folks put their hands in their pockets to the tune of £23,000 to make the booking – with some paying extra to get a picture of their cat displayed!

The communications agency behind this (Glimpse) says that they want to bring creatives and ordinary people together to show how things could be… they are not anti ads – but think there are better things that could be shown in tube stations….

I must admit – I thought it was an April Fools prank to start with – even though we are in September! But thinking further about it – I suspect that it is either what it says it is… some lovely cat loving people doing something nice in a normally stressful place – or is it a prelude to something bigger and maybe even more commercial?

Whatever it is, it must have been planned well in advance as outdoor media is normally snapped up very quickly. We book poster sites for a range of our clients here at the Dairy – one in particular is the annual student freshers’ campaign for Nottingham City Transport. To get the sites we want in Nottingham for the critical September/October period takes a deal of planning and we do this over a year in advance!

It is not unusual for an advertiser to take over every space in a tube station – we have seen it for car and technology launches – but never for such altruistic reasons.  

What might we see next? Well I noticed some public comments on the Evening Standard website last night that were picking up on the theme and asking to see posters of dogs at Barking station and, guess what, some larger mammals at Elephant & Castle station!

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To hear my interview with Verity on the radio, follow this link –