–James Mahoney, Razor’s Edge Communications

Recently, a group named Glimpse bought out two weeks’ worth of the ad space in London’s Clapham Common underground station and filled it with pictures of cats. You can read the details as reported by PRI.org here.

In a nutshell, though, the guy who founded Glimpse and launched the project, James Turner, said his intention was to “…imagine a world where public spaces were designed to make you feel good…rather than [advertise] the stuff you can buy in the shops.”

Hence, pictures of cats filling all the ad space on the platform, stairs and escalators (which apparently were working well, Steve Baird, unlike the infamous skyway’s escalators).

So, how did Glimpse fund their project? Why, by advertising on Kickstarter and getting 600 people to pony up about $30,000.

And what did the posters present? Why, awareness of “The Citizens [sic] Advertising Takeover Service”; promotion of the Cats Protection feline welfare charity; and a line-up that includes cats currently available for adoption.

Looks like it’s a hit, attracting tourists, foreign media, and selfie aficionados.

It’s a confirmation that a powerful, creative, on-target and well-executed idea gets results. In this case:

  • Revenue (initial funding from the Kickstarter target audience)
  • Response (people heading for Clapham Common just to see the ads)
  • Sales (cats adopted)
  • Memorable awareness (for Cats Protection, Clapham Common tube station, and likely Glimpse/The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service), and
  • Momentum (which Glimpse can choose to capitalize on or not with subsequent projects)

Not bad for an anti-advertising advertising campaign.