Chris Poole collected $25,000 for winning “The Friskies” 2014 Awards Gala featuring the best Internet cat videos of the year. The cat awards gala was sponsored by pet food manufacturer Purina, and involved hundreds of video submissions from across the country.
Marmalade Bags $25,000
Poole submitted an amateur video entitled “Dumpster Kitty” in the “Strange” category, which showed his kitten Marmalade playfully navigate through a small plastic dumpster while feline friend Cole watched in the background.
Nationwide audiences voted for their favorites videos after an extensive campaign conducted by Friskies, and 2014 represented the third annual cat video awards hosted by Friskies.
On YouTube, you can watch a compilation of the best cat videos from ‘The Friskies’ 2014 awards.
“We at Friskies love cat videos because they showcase the imagination and individuality of both cats and their owners,” said Whitney Evans, Friskies assistant brand manager, in an interview with YouTube Examiner. “Cats live life differently, and videos are a great way to highlight and celebrate that.”
A total of $40,000 was awarded to U.S. contestants who submitted videos in four categories: funny, res-cute cat, epic, and strange. Each category winner took home $5,000 in cash, as well as, a golden catuette trophy. All 12 finalists will receive a one-year supply of Friskies cat food and cat treats.
The judging criteria included:
- Originality and overall artistic impression (25%)
- Audience appeal and entertainment quality (25%)
- Sense that there’s a story being told (25%)
- Portraying the cat’s perspective (25%)
As part of the promotion, Friskies pledged to donate 250,000 cans of cat food and over $20,000 to cat shelters nationwide.
“It’s clear that cat videos have become a pillar of online pop culture,” said Evans. “We started ‘The Friskies’ in 2012 because we thought it was time for cat videos to be recognized and validated as an art form and we’re thrilled to celebrate the phenomenon of cat videos and the cats that inspire them for the third year in a row.”
Mobile and Social Media
Multimedia content in an age of mobile and social media can be significantly different from content produced on traditional programs such as television, print, radio, and billboards.
“I think the biggest difference is the amount of time you have to tell a story,” says Evans. “Television spots are typically 30 to 60 seconds, but you get a lot more freedom with online videos. For example, Friskies did a video with BuzzFeed earlier this year called Dear Kitten, which went viral and it was almost three minutes long. We had a much bigger opportunity to tell a nuanced story with Dear Kitten.”
With today’s Internet and mobile platforms, audiences typically cull the best content. That is, viewers select the top content which then rise in popularity and rankings. The platform then attracts other viewers because the very best videos are given priority on a Webpage.
“I think it’s more impactful for the public to select the winners of ‘The Friskies’ vs. the brand identifying winners,” says Evans. “Popular vote is a powerful tool. Besides, it would be a shame to keep all those cat video entries to ourselves; cat videos are meant to be shared.”