London Underground Station Has All Adverts Replaced With Cute Cat Pictures: What Are The Felines Selling?

A London Underground station had all its advertisements replaced with adorable feline photos of all shapes and sizes. Interestingly, the professional-quality prints weren’t part of any surprise marketing campaign confirmed the team. Instead, the Kickstarter-funded group was merely proving that public places belong to the people first and changing the scene from corporate to fun was within the average citizen’s hands.

Commuters stepping onto Clapham Common tube station were greeted with tons of photos of cute cats that had replaced all the advertisements. Instead of the promotional messages peddling everything from hair products to cars and insurance to sportswear, the underground high-speed railway station had been adorned with professional-quality prints of felines of all shapes and sizes. The photos were obtained from two rescue charities: Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and Cats Protection. One of the posters had cat photos sent in by members of the public. People paid a 100 pounds to feature their pets.

While many might presume cats were stepping up their activities aimed at world domination, the entire campaign was funded by Citizens Advertising Takeover Service or CATS for short. The cleverly-named team was responsible for the bizarre but adorable campaign that undeniably made the train station a temporary mecca for cat-lovers.

The group managed to replace all the paid adverts with cat posters thanks to the general citizenry. CATS had started a crowdfunding campaign that would allow them to take down all the paid promotional advertisements and replace them with just cat photos that didn’t attempt to sell you anything.

The group had been working on the concept for quite some time and eventually managed to raise over 23,000 pounds to buy out the entire advertising space at Clapham Common station. In case you wish to soak in the cat photos and the calmness that they evoke, you will have to hurry, as the cats won’t adorn the walls for long. The money raised through the crowdfunding campaign will allow the cats to be on advertising boards for two weeks.

There are currently more than 68 adverts featuring just cats, but there are no promotional messages of any kind. However, there are some subtle hints about the group behind the project. All the advertising space that the London Underground rents out is professionally covered. Even if they aren’t selling anything, all the cat photos have been printed on commercial-grade glossy advertising paper that has been coated with industrial grade transparent protective layers to complete the illusion.

Why were cats chosen as the subject matter? Incidentally, the group has already begun planning their next campaign, and many expect them to choose dogs. The group chose cats because they are, by far, the most popular creature on the internet, and according to the group, the felines look amazing on the large canvas.

The group’s project was aimed at offering relaxing imagery rather than being constantly asked to “buy stuff all the time.” The group claims it wanted to offer a world where “public spaces made you feel good.”

Advertisements bombard passengers with messages that many do not particularly enjoy looking at while they commute to their destination. The images and scenery depicted in the promotional messages are often too unrealistic and designed to make the viewer feel inferior or insecure. These subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle marketing techniques are commonly employed to entice passengers to buy the products even if they do not truly need them.

Explaining the concept in a blog post, organizer James Turner said, “This isn’t a clever marketing stunt for a pet food brand, or a guerrilla campaign for a new TV series. The people behind it are volunteers who raised the money on Kickstarter. We want to inspire people to think differently about the world and realize they have the power to change it.”

[Photo by Johnny Eggitt/Getty Images]

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