A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that consumers spend more “when feeling a sense of nostalgia-evoked social connectedness.” That's the theory for 9Lives cat food.
And guess who is making a comeback? Morris! The finicky cat has represented the 9Livesbrand of cat food since his creation in 1969 by the Leo Burnett agency. Morris has lasted through 8 presidencies and 40 Super Bowls.
It was a group effort to bring Morris back into the claws of the advertising world. Several agencies got involved in the rebranding and they say that this time Morris will be appealing to the millennials and he will sport a whole different attitude. He no longer will be presented as finicky. He will now become “charmingly choosy."
There is a little issue with that as research shows that "charmingly choosy" could ultimately turn off consumers. (How many agencies does it take to change a lightbulb?) But it should make sense to let Morris loose on social media considering it's a haven for cat videos.
But finicky or not, Morris will be a pretty hip cat in his new life, we're told. He will be trying out wearable technology and offering his approval to the world around him.
It appears that Morris is really using the 9 lives we hear so much about, as this isn't Morris' first reboot in his life.
When he reappeared in television advertising in 2004 he was rendered less finicky, willing to turn somersaults for a steady supply of 9Lives. So this cat has had a makeover before.
Apparently Madison Avenue has been embracing a trend known as comfort marketing, which has been popular following the turmoil with the market in 2008. It's the idea of conjuring up the past with old slogans, mascots and jingles to stimulate positive memories when the present seems uncertain.
Not to worry, though. There'll be plenty of Morris to go around. Patrick Maravilla, group creative director at one of the agencies managing the new Morris, assures us that “every single piece of content is designed to be shareable.”
He said that "Morris will be looking at a fishbowl -- if you click on the fishbowl it plays a 1980s 9Lives commercial with Morris and a fishbowl."
The verdict is out whether Morris has one more life left in him, but it seems that launching into the world of social media makes a lot of sense, “charmingly choosy" or not.