Friskies, Fine Brothers Partner For April Fools' Joke

Purina’s Friskies brand has partnered with The Fine Brothers for what could be the best marketing April Fools’ joke yet.

Instead of the kids and teens The Fine Brothers normally enlist for their popular and award-winning video series “Kids React,” this video takes a feline spin around the video block.

The “Cats React” Friskies branded video was posted at noon Eastern Time on April Fools’ Day. Exclusive “behind the scenes” content also is posted across Friskies and Purina social media channels using the hashtag #catsreact.

The “Kids React” videos routinely receive millions of weekly views, and Friskies hopes to take advantage of those eyeballs with soft messaging and product placements in the catty video.

The effort, facilitated by Reach Entertainment, is unique, as it is the Fine Brother’s first major branded project. The team at Reach has known The Fine Brothers for a long time, says Marc Hustvedt, head of digital at Reach.

“They’re consistently one of YouTube’s top creative teams for original content and are experts at driving super engaging, shareable video,” Hustvedt tells Marketing Daily. “When we sat down with The Fine Brothers to explore branded partnerships, we all thought April Fools would be the perfect time to have some fun around their ‘Kids React’ series — by replacing the kids with cats, of course. Instantly we thought to bring it to Friskies, and the brand loved it.”

The effort reflects Friskies’ renewed, aggressive commitment to new media and is 100% organic with no paid media support. Friskies is using the video as the platform to launch a new flavor for its soft/canned food product line, says Shaun Belongie, senior brand manager, Friskies.

“Friskies is very active in internet cat culture, so when we heard what the Fine Brothers were doing we loved the idea and immediately wanted to be involved,” Belongie tells Marketing Daily. “As you’ll see in the video, you never know how cats are going to react … unless you’re talking about wet cat food.”

This is the first April Fools’ Day effort for Friskies. The target is cat owners who are involved and engaged in online cat culture.

Both teams were committed to genuinely compelling content first and never let the product messaging compromise that, Hustvedt says.

“Playfully spoofing the popular ‘React’ series with an April Fools’ prank is right in the sweet spot of how Friskies likes to be a part of the cat culture conversation online,” he says. “And, ultimately, this kind of highly social video should drive real engagement for the brand and its new SauceSations product.”

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