Lessons From Friskies’ “Hard to Be a Cat at Christmas”

Many brands are lucky enough to have videos that go viral on the internet. Recently, Friskies was one of those brands. The popular cat food brand debuted a holiday video that brought five internet-famous cats together for a common cause – feeding cats in shelters. This video sensation was a huge hit, and it can teach us a few key lessons about how to create video marketing campaigns that really work. Friskies used strategic techniques, including capitalizing on a pop culture trend and incorporating charity, to ensure that their video would be well-received by customers. Read on to learn more about why this video was absolutely purrfect (ah – sorry, couldn’t resist the opportunity).

The Video Sensation

The music video, called “Hard to Be a Cat at Christmas” debuted a veritable cat super-group of five internet-famous cats – Grumpy Cat, Nala Cat, Colonel Meow, Hamilton the Hipster, and Oskar the Blind Cat – singing about the hardships cats face during the holidays as well as what cats really want: wet food. Friskies promised to donate a can of wet cat food to five cat shelters per view up to 500,000 views. The shelters, each of which will receive up to 100,000 cans of wet food, were chosen by the five celebrity cats based on where they donate or volunteer as well as where they were adopted. The video went viral, and in just two days, it had already reached 300,000 of those 500,000 views.

Marketing Lessons From Friskies

What can we learn from the major success of this Friskies campaign? Consider these four lessons:

  1. Capitalize on Pop Culture Trends: The first lesson we can learn from the success of this video is the fact that capitalizing on pop culture trends pays off. Friskies was able to go viral because the brand used a group of cats that they knew would draw attention on the internet. By bringing five internet-famous cats together, the brand further ensured that users across the web would want to watch this video.
  2. Work From a Popular Campaign: In addition to using these celebrity cats, Friskies was also working off of a previous campaign that was widely popular on the web. Using the #IfYouFeedMe hashtag, Friskies encouraged users to create memes of what the five famous cats would do for wet food. An accompanying video also gained over 400,000 views. By expanding their previous campaign rather than starting from scratch, Friskies created a campaign that they knew would succeed.
  3. Give to Charity: Friskies also planned their marketing campaign exceptionally well by donating to charity. Everyone likes it when brands give to a great cause, especially when that cause involves adorable animals in need. The brand combined an easy way for users to contribute with a video that others would want to watch anyway to ensure results.
  4. Use Adorable Animals: Last but not least, using adorable animals to market your products is always a great strategy. As a cat food company, Friskies consistently markets using cute animals, but they took it up a notch in this video campaign by using the five internet-famous cats that people across the world know and love.

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  • New to Video?

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  • How Much is
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    calculating the ROI of video.

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