It was Super Bowl Sunday and before the game, I was flipping through channels and I happened upon the Kitten Bowl. A joint venture by the Hallmark Channel and the North Shore Animal League America (sponsored by Celebrity Cruises), it's goal (pun intended) is to raise awareness of shelter animals and increase adoption rate, and I hope it succeeds. But the show is brilliant.
Part of the genius is in how simple it is. Mark up a floor mat like a football field, but a bunch of kittens on with a bunch of toys, watch what happens. Then you edit it into a "football" game, complete with commentary, spotlights on players, and locker room chat. You don't have to do anything to get it to be cute, the kittens take care of that just by being kittens. Professional sportscaster John Sterling carries this off with all the sincerity of his Yankees games (he's their voice).
Next they brought in some very well-known face - such as Regis Philbin, Kelly Rutherford, and Hoda Kotb - to talk about their own shelter adopted pets. And there's a very good chance they do it for free. Brilliant. Simple, very low cost, appealing as can be (it's kittens, for goodness sake!).
This is how you need to start thinking! Innovative, outside-the-box thinking is critical to marketing success! There are too many ads out there, too many web sites, too many everything for anyone to be noticed. Unless you can start coming up with brilliant ideas like the Kitten Bowl.