If you're lucky enough to find yourself coming or going from the Clapham Common Tube Station on London's south side, then you will something unusual greeting you on your morning commute. No, it's not street musicians, or a free fare or an escalator full of pandas. It's cats — and lots of them.
Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, the community action group Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (CATS) has funded its first mission — replacing all the advertising at the aforementioned tube station with photos of cats. And not pictures of cats selling something or cats promoting something — just plain old, wonderful cats.
The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (CATS) took over this London tube station with photos of sultry felines. (Photo: Glimpse)
For the next two weeks, every turnstile, escalator panel and poster at the station will greet visitors with a photo of a cat. In all, the CATS group replaced 68 advertisements with cat posters. It's not a clever trick to get people to buy more kitty litter or even to get people to adopt a cat (although many of the cat models in the posters are available for adoption via Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and Cats Protection.)
Rather, the cat photos were organized by a group called Glimpse with a mission to "inspire people to think differently about the world and realise they have the power to change it."
James Turner, the founder Glimpse, describes the project in a recent blog post as "a new collective that wants to use the power of creativity for good. Instead of focusing on the problem, we create ‘glimpses’ of a world where things are getting better."
Interesting concept, but why cats? As Turner explains it, the group — which is not opposed to advertising — wanted to persuade people to "imagine a world where friends and experiences were more valuable than stuff you can buy."
The idea then followed to buy advertising space and replace it with something else. Something that everyone loves. Something that was extremely likely to become a viral sensation. "Frame it that way and the answer’s obvious," said Turner. "Cats."
So far the response to the cat photos has been overwhelmingly positive, with tube goers smiling, snapping pics, and grabbing a few selfies.
So what's next for Glimpse? According to Turner, they're working on their next mission and even taking suggestions at CatsNotAds.org. Not surprisingly, the current front runner for the next mission's theme is ‘dogs’.