Few things may be surprising when it comes to billboards in Tokyo, a city full of neon lights and elements that try to attract attention. However, a billboard has succeeded. The masses of citizens position themselves with the best camera shot and wait patiently for the star of the moment to make its appearance.
The star is, almost unsurprisingly, a cat, but in this case it is gigantic and occupies one of those infinite screens that have revolutionized digital signage . The power of the cat is unquestionable.
“The way he meows is too cute,” explains one of the consumers who watches the appearance of the giant cat to The New York Times , which has dedicated a whole report in its international section to the reign of the cat in the streets of Tokyo The cat on the fence behaves like any other cat, meowing, sleeping and making the classic cat movements. Every now and then, say hello, saying nyannichiwa (as the Times explains, it ‘s a made-up word halfway between hello and meow in Japanese).
Its appearance is limited: it is allowed to be seen briefly during each hour. While they wait, patient fans have to watch commercials and more commercials and music videos. Since this is a state-of-the-art display, the cat is presented with the illusion of depth and dimension.
The endearing cat seems to leave the screen. Although the cat is a viral hit, it is not exactly an advertisement in itself. The cat, by itself, does not sell anything. “There are many reasons why we decided to show the cat, but one of the main ones is that with the coronavirus the world has become very dark,” explains one of those responsible for the billboards to the Times .
The cat is simply cute content and feels good. But aside from that, what is clear is that the giant cat has managed to recover pedestrian traffic to the shopping area where it is and, above all, it has made everyone look at an advertising screen, waiting for it to appear. and watching in the meantime the ads that want to serve them.
The cat has become viral and has also managed to get people talking about it around the world. Even if you can’t get close to the Tokyo street where it is seen, you can connect to a live stream of the square where you see all the billboard ads and the expected appearances of the cat.
What it teaches marketers
And, in the end, what interests marketers around the world about the story of the giant cat on the Tokyo billboard is not so much that the cat is endearing or that it has gone viral, but what it says about the future of outdoor advertising and the potential of digital signage.
Thus, the cat is teaching a powerful lesson, that if you know how to use the technology and the tools it generates well and that if you can create something that surprises and, so to speak, falls in love, you will be able to capture the attention of your children. consumers. Screens now allow you to do so, as long as you know how to generate experiences and cause surprise.