Meow Mix Pop-Up Features Cats in a Reality Show
Just when you thought every idea for a reality TV show and every concept for a pop-up shop had been used up, along comes an event marketing initiative that reminds us that—thankfully—there’s life left in both genres.
The Meow Mix House was the world’s first reality show starring cats, and it was staged in a one-of-a-kind pop-up shelter. Ten homeless felines from shelters across the U.S. were flown to New York City, where they lived together in a custom-built house in midtown Manhattan for two weeks in June. A series of tongue-in-cheek challenges, including a climb-a-thon and a purring contest, were staged to give the contestants a chance to win a job as feline vp-research and development at Meow Mix. (We hear the gig wasn’t really too demanding.)
Following the competition, each of the cats was given to an adoptive family. Interactives engaged the human element, too, whether they were on site, online (live webcams provided access 24/7) or watching on TV (edited highlights aired once a week in a series of 10 three-minute episodes on the Animal Planet channel). Fans could visit the cats in person and vote for their favorite at ballot boxes inside the store. More than 1,000 visitors a day stopped by during the 10-day run.
National coverage was the program’s main goal, and the Meow Mix House was like catnip to the media. The national morning shows, E! , Entertainment Tonight and Fox News Channel all bit, and print coverage included the New York papers, Newsweek and the major wire services. Plus, more than 250,000 consumers voted online for their favorite contestant.