Wednesday, October 6, 2010
What is this- Cat Guevara? I don't even.
While flipping through my mom's discarded magazines, I found this gem in last week's People. And after seeing this, I knew I had to share it with you instead of the image of a man eating his own hand like I originally planned. I don't know who the illustrator is as it's not mentioned, so I can't give you a bio. This is an actual ad for non-clay cat litter (the C.A.C. stands for "Cats Against Clay" if you're wondering, I cut off the tag line that sort of explains that part). They made an ad mimic propaganda, when the two are basically the same thing. Apparently we are associating non-clay pine cat litter with Marxism, Che Guevara, and the Cuban revolution. And this is totally okay with the Feline Pine corporation, Cats Against Clay (if that is even a real organization) and People Magazine.
It always kind of bothers me when brands try to make themselves out as some kind of political revolution; I don't remember who it was, it was probably some jean company, but there was a TV ad with a Churchill speech played over it not that long ago, and it really grated on my nerves. No matter what the political content, when ads portray themselves as "revolutionary" in that sense it makes a mockery of the real struggles that real revolutionaries have gone through. When we're bombarded with these revolutionary messages in a context that makes them meaningless, over time it will make them actually meaningless in any context, and I find that scary.
This one specifically, though, is so out there that I don't think it can possibly do any damage except to my brain. I don't understand why the ad wants to make the connections it's making, other than to appear hip, because of all those kids these days wearing Che shirts. Does cat litter need to be hip? Perhaps when it's being marketed to hipsters who want themselves and possibly their cat to be hip. It's cute in a vaguely disturbing way, and it's simple. They could have Photoshopped little Che hats onto pictures of real cats, but they didn't. Instead, we're given a mostly black and white illustration, where the only bits of color are in the cat litter box and the logo. That makes it stand out among pages and pages of carefully shot and 'shopped colorful photographs. And the way it tries to associate cat litter with Che Guevara makes its content really stand out amongst ads for minivans, detergent and other cat litter ads where the cat is simply put off by the smell of some other brand's cat litter and won't go to the litter box until the "right" brand is purchased.
I love this ad as much as I hate it, so I suppose the illustration is successful.
Posted by Solange at 12:39 PM