OPEN FORUM

When I receive impassioned and lucid responses to my posts, I tend to take them out of the “comments” links and set them up front-and-center here. So without further ado, here is a response to Product Placement for Pussies from Matthew Glass:

Max,

As the CEO of Grand Central Marketing, the agency that produced both the Meow Mix Café and the Meow Mix House reality show, I’d like to address some of the statements made in your post and Sam Ewen’s subsequent comment. First off, thank you for your kind words about The Meow Mix Cafe in your book and on your blog. In fact it was a success that brought the brand international recognition from the marketing community and made the company’s wet food pouches one of the most successful new product launches of the year. While we agree that the Café was a great experience for those customers who visited the cafe, I think you’re shortchanging the Meow Mix House experience. Thousands of people came to see the cats in person, with many returning day after day to visit their favorites. There was constantly a crowd in front of the storefront peering through the window and blocking pedestrian traffic on Madison Avenue—above and beyond the 10,000 consumers who came inside the house.

But the House’s storefront set was only a small part of an integrated campaign that also involved TV programming and most importantly, an online component. Through the Internet we were able to spread the experience internationally and capture the fancy of catlovers worldwide. We received emails from people all over the world telling us how much they loved watching the cats on the live webcams . One woman in the Canary Islands went so far as to start her own chatroom for people to discuss the cats. Many of the participating animal shelters started grassroots campaigns for people to vote for their hometown felines, and more than a quarter of a million consumers voted online for their favorite cats.

With regard to Mr. Ewen’s comment that “We work out of New York and never heard that this happened, so it did not seem to get a huge amount of press either (the real reason they did it I am sure)” — I’m not sure where he gets his news but there were four stories about the house in the New York Post, four in the Daily News and one in the New York Times. The house was also featured on The Today Show, The Early Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, E! News, Inside Edition, Fox and Friends, The Insider, and Fox & Friends, just to name a few.

Thank you, Matthew. I appreciate the effort to reach out. This is why I blog. And hopefully, this is why ETM readers keep coming back. Again, thanks….to you all!!!!

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