Hide My Ass! | Social | Influencer | Content
Cats. They’ve had a disdain for dogs since the dawn of, well, domesticated pets. But if there’s one thing that’s going to get a cat’s back up more than a dog, it’s dirty rotten internet censorship. For the cat has become the undisputed king of the net. The star of a million memes and virals. And without this endless supply of cat pictures, videos and looping GIFs the internet would be a far worse place indeed.
But a cat-less internet is the sad reality in some countries.
The places where power-hungry regimes seek to stifle their citizens’ freedom of expression, and access to cat content, by censoring the one thing that should be for everyone. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, no Youtube. It’s a world where the words ‘keyboard cat’ are sadly meaningless to millions.
But now, the cats are fighting back. And in force. Thanks to The Pussycat Riot campaign, which we created for our VPN client Hide My Ass, which was founded on the ideals of a fair internet free of all censorship.
Led by a brave band of celebrity cats – including Nala, Princess Monster Truck, Jarvis P. Weasley, Henri Le Chat Noir and Stitch – The Pussycat Riot exists to name and shame those rulers and governments that restrict the internet, all the while creating a groundswell of cat support from across the world and raising money for the charity Index on Censorship.
To announce the intentions of The Pussycat Riot in no uncertain terms, we launched the world’s first ‘cat protest products’, which include eerily lifelike scratching posts of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, as well as litter trays bearing the faces of infamous internet censors.
Now, it’s fair to say that The Pussycat Riot has proven to be a worldwide media and social media hit.
Indeed, not only were we featured on these shores in the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph (here, here and here), Daily Mirror, The Sun, Daily Star, Evening Standard, MSN and Channel 4′s The Last Leg (Which resulted in Carrie Fisher / Princess Leia’s dog showing a knock-off Putin post what he thought of internet censorship), but our satirical products sent a cat-fronted anti-censorship message around the world and back again, with wonderful coverage in USA Today, Bild, Buzzfeed USA, So Bad So Good, Anorak, AOL, Herald Sun, Huffington Post Germany and France, Zeitjung, Handelsblatt, The Frisky and more than 100 other articles in Korea, Russia, Turkey, China, Canada, USA, Eastern Europe and South America.
All in all our campaign has secured 267 articles, in 22 countries and spoken about in 15 languages.
Meanwhile, on Twitter we saw tens of thousands of tweets flying in from all the planet, with users retweeting and posting links to coverage and showing their support with the hashtag #thepussycatriot – resulting in almost 40 million impressions.
Meanwhile, the campaign website (www.thepussycatriot.org) saw traffic exceed 900,000 hits and orders of protest merchandise go through the roof. Then there’s Instagram page, which rapidly became a substantial visual archive of cats showing their support for #thepussycatriot (the pic of Nala below wearing The Pussycat Riot beret generated over 54,000 likes in a couple of hours), and the YouTube video, which has amassed around 44,000 views without a penny of paid-for support.
What’s more, the dictator scratching posts proved so popular among the Reddit community that they rocketed up the rankings to sit atop of Reddit’s front page with over 4,000 points, sparking an organic Reddit Photoshop battle where our imagery became a fully fledged meme and leaving us in doubt that this had truly ‘gone viral’.
All of this increased Hide My Ass! web traffic by 1.2 million visitors and 3 million page views, subsequently boosting subscriptions to the VPN by 5%.
The success of The Pussycat Riot has not gone unnoticed on the awards circuit, already bagging a slew of nominations at PR Week Awards, CIPR Excellence Awards, SABRE Awards and winning the Corp Comms Digi Award for Best Digital-Led Campaign.