Fortnotes the seventh

[Being the seventh in a fortnightly series of brain dumps: what I’m working on, wondering and worrying about.]

The past couple of weeks have largely been about cats with thumbs for me. If you’ve bumped into me and I’ve appeared a bit distracted, it’s probably because I’ve been thinking about polydactyl cats taking over the internet.

It started with a tense weekend. A certain video started to “go viral” on the “interwebs” quite a big way; the whole team were keeping a close eye on the tone of the comments and the inbound links over the weekend. Then, just as that was calming down, the Cravendale ‘cats with thumbs’ TV campaign launched. I think it’s fair to say that people seem to like it. They’re talking about it too. Weekly mentions of Cravendale on Twitter increased 2226% (21st – 27th Feb vs 28th Feb – 6th March), within a week the ad was viewed over a million times on YouTube. It’s now up to 1.6M views and that video has already been shared on Facebook over 211,000 times. Oh yes.

Bertrum Thumbcat, the ringleader of the polydactyl cats (you can see him picking up a rubber ball in the ad) has used his dextrousness to access Facebook and Twitter and is attracting exactly the sort of passionate involvement from a lot of fans, and making even more people laugh. I was going to write some more about the campaign, but ‘What Katie Does’ has described it so well that I’ll just link to that for now.

As you can imagine, I’m really excited to be involved with such a fun project; I get to work with some properly amazing people. I’m heading to Worthing for a couple of days next week to join the team as the next stage of Bertum’s master plan becomes a reality.

Aside from cats with thumbs, I’ve been spending time working on stuff for Honda, a bit of Fairtrade (what with it being Fairtrade Fortnight and everything), some early work for P&G and not nearly enough to be helpful on Nokia. Plus the usual collection of secret projects, recruitment, longer term projects and meeting nice people.

In fact, a bunch of really interesting and nice people started in the past fortnight, including: Kirsten Rutherford and Lisa Jelliffe lovely antipodean creatives whose collaboration with Mentalgassi you might recognise; Romans Dobzanskis is our new senior creative technologist (he’s a semantic web guru and was previously head of creative tech at Saatchi & Saatchi London); Gavin Gordon-Rogers (previously Executive Creative Director at Glue) joins as Andy Cameron’s ‘lieutenant’ as well as being the Interactive Creative Director for Nokia. They’re all lovely and I’m looking forward to working with them all.


New terminology: NPD = new product development. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m partly writing these down so I can track my understanding of the weird industry lexicon, and partly so I have somewhere to look them up when I forget them again. :-)