Fake products for cat lovers are a thing. In case you missed this here’s the scenario: You’re reading your news feed on Facebook or your Twitter and someone posts a video for an item that seems either too good or too weird to be true. The latest is the Catterbox, touted by Temptations lab as “the world’s first talking cat collar.” You check the comments and it’s a mix of people checking Snopes. and other souls screaming some variation of, “Shut up and take my money!”
Creating fake commercials for nonexistent products is nothing new. Sketch comedy shows have been doing it for decades and before that, radio shows occasionally twisted their listeners. This cat thing, however, is almost a different beast. Americans spend an extraordinary amount of money on their pets. According to a July, 2015 report at NBC News, the figure was around $60 billion over the previous fiscal year. So it should come as no surprise when casual internet users mistake some of the more fantastic fake products for cat lovers offered via viral video for bona fide items for sale.
Is it real or is it a meme in the making?
These commercials often fall into two categories. Some are jokes created solely for the humor value, while others are often commercials for existing items that aren’t revealed until the end of the video.
— National Post (@nationalpost) May 20, 2016
The latter ads can be ingenious in their execution. One viral bit that is beginning to make the rounds in social media is an infomercial for an item called the “Catterbox.” This ad was created by adam&eveDDB, a London ad agency. The full-length video clocks in at a minute and six seconds and is also broken into shorter bits on Temptations’ YouTube page.
What cat lover wouldn’t want their own version of a collar that makes communication with their feline friend as simple as snapping on a Catterbox and syncing it up with an app to know exactly what all those purrs, meows, and chirps mean? This is a fake product for cat lovers, for now.
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Have you ever wanted to lick your cat?
Me neither. The people at Licki Brush and quite a few others think the idea of grooming your cat the way Mother Nature intended is just dandy. The video dropped on May 17 and within a day was a viral hit. Speculation was that it was either a hoax or, like the Catterbox, and ad for something else. It turns out the Licki Brush is a real thing, or at least the dream of a real grooming item.
If you didn't look crazy while using it, they might be onto something. But otherwise, er, yeah, cat licking. https://t.co/JAsTUNy2P9
— Mike Hughes (@mike_hooz) May 21, 2016
Two days after the video premiered, Portland, Oregon entrepreneur, Jason O’Mara launched a Kickstarter for the now not so fake product for cat lovers. His goal is $36,500. As of this writing, he has raised a little over $9,000. With 36 days to go, it remains to be seen if he will get the amount needed to see that every cat owner who has ever wanted to bite down on a plastic grip and pretend to lick their cat will get the chance to do so.
Whether this is the start of a new trend in product development for cat owners or simply a trend in process, the Catterbox, the Licki Brush, and any future fake (or not so fake) products for cat lovers and the people who love them may have found a new source of entertainment on the web.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]