Chatty Kitties Relaunch Tidy Cats

Berlin Cameron & Partners Bows New Look for Purina’s Litter Brand
NEW YORK–Ralston Purina has relaunched its best-selling cat litter with advertising from Berlin Cameron & Partners that repositions the product and adds a new name.
St. Louis-based Purina chose to relaunch market leader Tidy Cats (formerly known as Tidy Cat) because sales had flattened, said Izzy DeBellis, a Berlin creative director.
A TV spot breaking today in 30- and 15-second executions features a pair of talking cats who discuss the merits of the reformulated Tidy Cats litter.
“It is specially designed for multiple cat households,” says one cat.
“Or one cat with a very large bladder,” quips the other, in a deadpan voiceover provided by Jonathan Katz of Comedy Central’s Dr. Katz:
Professional Therapist.
When a human enters the room, the house pets scatter as one exclaims, “Quick, act like cats!” The tagline: “Tidy Cats–multiple strength for multiple cats.” Packaging has also been redesigned.
The idea to have the cats talk– made possible by Rhythm & Hues, Los Angeles, the same special effects shop that gave voice to Babe’s talking pig–grew from research indicating that cat owners believe their pets speak when they leave the room, DeBellis said.
Previous spots had focused on how Tidy Cat can solve cat odor problems for humans. One featured a woman asking her lazy husband what chores he had done in her absence. He had not completed any of them, but was able to take credit for changing the litter because it still smelled fresh. The tagline: “If it’s anything less than Tidy Cat, you’ll know.”
The new spot is the first from the New York shop’s principals, who handled Tidy Cat at their former agency, Fallon McElligott Berlin. They won the $10-15 million account after forming their new shop in January. Another round of TV spots are tentatively planned for the fall, DeBellis said.
Print ads will also appear in the August issues of Shape, InStyle, First and People, among others.
Ralston Purina leads the $750 million cat litter category with a 27 percent share, according to Information Resources. First Brands is ranked next, with 19.6 percent.