Following on from his previous adventure through the psychedelic, swinging 60s, our feline friend Walter forms glam rockers Walter and the Awful Pawfuls. This Keith Schofield-directed music video is the latest in the LOLcats-tastic campaign for Litter Genie, and this time the star of the show is shaking off his purple haze to let his rebellious inner rock god to shine. LBB chatted to JWT New York ECD Sarah Barclay to find out more about Walter’s conception and what we can expect from him in the future.
LBB> The campaign taps into the cat-internet meme of the moment . Why was Litter Genie the perfect brand to associate with this trend?
SB> Litter Genie is a truly revolutionary cat litter disposal system that is unique for the category. It's incredibly easy to use, making life easier and odour-free for cat owners. The brand has a fun, spirited personality, so it seemed fitting to take advantage of the incredible cat meme popularity to make sure we got as much awareness as possible.
LBB> The campaign appears to target a different demographic to normal cat-related products; who were you hoping to target and why do you think this approach would appeal to cat lovers?
SB> It's targeting a similar demographic to other cat-related products, but actually providing the kind of content that those cat-lovers are consuming, sharing and creating. We had a limited budget and wanted to make a big impression, so we decided to make something that we hoped would be loved and shared.
LBB> What was the brief from the client and how did they respond when they saw the creative and the end results?
SB> The client wanted something informative but also arresting. They realised this was a category with an opportunity to do something different. They have been incredibly supportive throughout the process and were willing to take risks to ensure the videos were as interesting as possible. They are really happy with the end result and the response so far.
LBB> Keith Schofield directed the first spot ‘I Haz a Catnip in Mah Head’, as well as this new video. Why did you choose him and what did he bring to the final executions?
SB> We looked for people who had experience with music videos, comedy and animals. We also wanted someone who would be a good problem-solver, due to the fact that we had an ambitious shooting schedule and were working with some notoriously fickle actors. A set full of cats can be a little unpredictable.
LBB> Why did you decide to take a musical approach to the campaign?
SB> We wanted an entertaining way to communicate the product features and benefits. Music is also a great way to cut through the clutter of existing cat content. And it was cat poo. It's the perfect thing to sing about.
LBB> This spot sees the cats leave behind the swinging 60s and veer into the 70s with the glam rock approach. Are we set to experience more musical ventures from our feline friends?
SB> Yes. Walter plays in different bands from different genres. He's very talented.
LBB> I Haz a Catnip in Mah Head’ had a grainy, 60s film feel to it, whereas the look of this one is very VHS and reminiscent of early MTV. Why was this level of attention to detail important?
SB>The level of detail was important to ensure that each music genre felt genuine and authentic. We wanted to appeal to cat-lovers as well as music lovers by celebrating a variety of music styles.
LBB> Were these looks captured in cinematography or post-production?
SB> Both. We captured the genre style in set design, costume, props and lighting. And there was a tremendous amount of work in post that went into each spot to make it look true to its respective genre, including attention to colours, lighting, film texture, etc.
LBB> Finally, fully in interests of research, how many hours did you spend on Reddit, lolcats and ‘I can haz cheeseburger’?
SB> We are now aficionados of all things meow.
Agency: JWT New York
Executive Creative Director: Sarah Barclay
Creative Director: Billy Faraut
Art Director: Hope Jordan
Copywriter: David Canavan
Chief Creative Officer, North America: Jeff Benjamin
Co-Chief Creative Officers, New York: Matt MacDonald & Ryan Kutscher
Planner: Mariam Dilawari
Head of Production: Sergio Lopez
Senior Producer: Mustafa Imam
Director of Music: Dan Burt
Project Manager: Jen Schockett
Account Team: Claire Capeci, Ariel Stern, Vanessa Reid, Amy Achenbaum
Client Team: Chikako Harada, David Greci, Kathleen Shanahan, Joseph Klicsu
Director: Keith Schofield
Production Company: Caviar, LA
Post-Production: Final Cut, NY & The Mill, NY.
Editing House: Final Cut, NY.
Music House: Amber Music
Media Agency: MEC