The Holiday seasons are coming whether we are ready of not. Yes, it is only a little over a month away before Halloween and those Christmas ads are getting ready to stalk us with tricks and treats. Can anyone save us from the endless (and sometimes mindless) barrage of holiday cheer threatening our very own pocketbooks? It looks like someone this year has stepped up to take a mouse-size bite out of the onslaught on our guilt and debt. But who? Who can get London to rock? How about some cat photos?
The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (or C.A.T.S.) has stepped out of the litterbox and up to the plate to save our senses. Instead of worrying about paying Christmas bills in January, C.A.T.S. wanted “a world where public spaces made you feel good.” For two weeks from Sept. 12 through Sept. 25, London will rock with the Clapham Station advertising in South London taken over by C.A.T.S. showing cats in giant cat photos of every shape or form instead of the sexy and fancy presents we normally see.
The ingenious and far-sighted people of C.A.T.S. went to the power of the Internet. Armed with their idea of replacing normal advertising with pictures of giant, fluffy and cuddly cats, they needed a way of pulling it off. On April 28, 2016, CatsNotAds.org took off and garnered over 23,000 pounds of English money. That’s in value and not in weight. 683 people from all over the world are helping London to rock.
Organizers even dealt with their own temptation. They were approached after initial success by the very same professionals they wanted to block. Those same advertisers wanted to fund the C.A.T.S. effort by letting companies put their own advertising on the groups’ website. Talk about not getting the hint. Thankfully, organizers declined temptation and kept it in house with volunteers and achieved their goal despite not selling out. On May 21, London rocked when they reached their goal.
Organizer James Turner stands in the hallway that his effort brought to life. According to metro-UK, James is quoted in his blog as saying: “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.” For about a month, people traveling the Clapham Common Tube Station will see a showcase of cats instead of toothpaste or the fanciest car.
In the end, the people of C.A.T.S. did modify their original goal in one way. The cats are more than just glamorous models tickling our fancy. All animals shown are homeless pets without a family to take them in this winter. The only thing bigger than the cats shown on the walls of the tube station are the hearts of the volunteers who put them there. After all, the holiday spirit is more about giving than spending, isn’t it? Thank you, London. You rock!