Kia centered an entire digital campaign around a cat
Let's begin by looking at an example of a major brand that took a chance with cats and found huge success. In 2011, H20 Media decided to promote the Kia Picanto in a digital campaign that set the bar for online innovation. The brand could have simply repurposed this Picanto commercial:
But instead, it decided to extend the story and craft a digital campaign that was told from the perspective of Henry the Cat, the co-star of the ad. On an interactive website, the cat takes us on a tour of the car and its features. Henry walks (on cat level) the visitor through an experience and displays the features, jumps in and out of the car, and watches funny videos with the visitor as they learn about the product.
In addition, a Facebook app was created called the Roaar-O-Meter where you can record yourself roaring using a webcam and microphone. Depending on how loud you are, the sound is transformed into either a lion's roar or a kitty's meow. There's a high score list, multiple sharing features, and a "challenge friends" function so friends can join in. This social integration gave people the ability to engage personally with the brand, all through the lens, perspective, and context of a cat.
They also created the Fight for your Picanto app for game-orientated users. It's basically a G-rated Mortal Combat, except you use adorable felines as your fighting friends. A new touch control system was developed specifically for the application. You can challenge your friends to a cat fight all while being visually branded by the Kia Picanto.
Kia was able to create an amazingly successful traditional commercial, digital interactive campaign, social strategy, and mobile gaming app all from the context provided by this little guy:
Next, we'll see how Kia took on internet memes as well.