They've been doing it for years in advertising - "catvertising" or "meowketing".
Long before keyboard kitties and LOLcats dominated the digital sphere. Cats (as well as dogs and other little furries) resonate with the domestic audience and pet lovers around the world.
Here's a look back at a select few vintage print ads featuring our feline friends.
|Poster for "Cabaret du Chat Noir" Re-opening, Paris, 1896.|
|Le Chat Noir, 1922.|
This is a cover for a French 25 cent weekly journal. which I assume has something to do with knitting. The scrawl of writing below the title reads what looks to be "J'evide les nerf en pelote?" which roughly translates to "My nerves are like a ball of yarn (being toyed with by a cat)".
|Lanvin Perfume, "My Sin", 1950's.|
|Boucheron, "Black Cat", 1986.|
|Movado Museum L'Imperiale, Black Cat Example, 1980.|
White cats with their bright, fluffy and pristine fur are another frequent feline feature of ads over the years.
|Fleetwood Cigarettes, 1943.|
They are often portrayed as symbols of purity and innocence and cleanliness - and as can be seen above, even for a brand of smoky cigarettes.
|National Society Of Radiators, "Ideal Classic", Italy (Undated)|
|Gaines Viso, Viso Gürtel, Poster by Von Allmen, 1950.|
The power of cuteness in print.
|Packer's Tar Soap, 1906.|
|The Orgasmatron from The Pink Pussy Cat Boutique, "Xmas", 1975.|
|Chevrolet Corvette, "Love Seat", The New Yorker, 19th May, 1956.|
By the 1980's, tabbies featured quite prominently in ads as the cat for the everyman. Many of these ads weren't particularly special unless you had a tabby of your own you could relate to. They are usually used for cat-related brands and products to display a range of kitty emotions.
|Purina, "Happy Cat" Cat Food, 1984.|
|"Kitty Litter Brand" Kitty Litter, 1984.|
Sad tabby is sad.
|Meow Mix, 1987.|
Hungry tabby is hungry.
One of the ads from the original "Mad Men" era that helped to spawn the creative advertising revolution of the 1960's. This ad, featuring a decked out cat, was developed by Bill Bernbach, ad creative guru, from Doyle Dane Bernbach along with Bob Gage (Art Direction) and Judy Protas (Body Copy). Together, they came up with an interesting idea to promote Ohrbach's Department Store to fashion-conscious New Yorkers.
|Ohrbach's Department Store, "I found out about Joan", Doyle Dane Bernbach, NYC, 1958.|
Headline & Body Copy:
I found out about Joan
The way she talks, you'd think she was in Who's Who. Well! I found out What's what with her. Her husband owns a bank? Sweetie, not even a bank account. Why that palace of theirs has wall-to-wall mortgages! And that car? Darling, that's horsepower, not earning power. They won it in fifty-cent raffle! Can you imagine? And those clothes! Of course she does dress divinely, But really... a mink stole, and Paris suits, and all those dresses... on his income? Well darling, I found out about that too. I just happened to be going her way and I saw Joan come out of Ohrbach's!