CATS cover Clapham Common station in #CatsNotAds - no ads at all

Adland: 

What a glorious day, CATS who kickstarted a campaign to replace ads with cats in the tube have delivered and covered Clapham Common in cats. What a novelty, a kickstarter that actually delivers. Surprise!

Glimpse are behind the cat-tastic idea. They are a creative collective who have not yet become cynical, they want to use their powers for good. "Glimpse" is what they want to show us, a glimpse of the world getting better.

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. Frame it that way and the answer’s obvious. Cats.

I take back the "cynical", you're wired like the rest of us adkids. The group who wants to give us a break from advertising on the underground are advertising themselves, naturally. Wanting to be famous and pushing the viral-on-the-internet "CAT" button for maximum exposure, just like Truth did. Still, we like cats, so moving on now that Glimpse have the soap box - what is the message here?

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. Things like empathy and tolerance, community and togetherness deserve to be at the heart of our culture. In these dark times, visionary artists are already using these values to illuminate a path to a better future. Imagine a world where the creative industry used its enormous power to make these values feel aspirational and relevant to millions of people.

Ok, so lead by example do great work etc. Cats. Cats is the message. Cats are hot again, especially if they sing like Temptations "don't you forget to treat me". To be fair, it works quite well when dogs sing too. We're suckers for animals. Can we trend baby elephants next? While I do agree that media changes the world (I've said as much in probably a hundred odd articles here over the years), and advertising should lead by example, be mindful, aspire to do good and be better - we have to be honest. Ethicswashing is a now thing. Promoting values just to generate goodwill, just to sell product, is exactly the kind of sleezy that makes people dislike advertising.

Glimpse also have a snapchat filter near Clapham Common that will turn you into a cat because everyone has to have a snapchat filter these days it's the law. Points for going the extra kitty-mile though.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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