ST. LOUIS — Friskies has formally extended its relationship with Internet cat sensation Grumpy Cat.
Grumpy Cat starred in a celebrity edition of the Friskies “Will Kitty Play With It?” online video game show series and national promotional media tour back in March. Now, Grumpy Cat, real name Tardar Sauce, will join forces on additional Friskies online programs and integrated opportunities.
“Friskies is always looking for new ways to celebrate playtime for cats and their owners through online content,” said Shawn Brain, Friskies brand manager. “Signing on Grumpy Cat for a longer-term relationship allows Friskies to work with one of the biggest stars in the space. It’s a win-win for everyone — especially people who love watching cat videos and cat owners who love experiencing a variety of online cat content.”
First up for Grumpy Cat will be her live appearance at “The Friskies” award show to receive the highly coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. Comedian Michael Ian Black will host the live show, and $25,000 in total cash prizes will be awarded to winners in various categories. Grumpy Cat will play a role in the show in addition to accepting the award. Fans may tune in to “The Friskies” at 7 p.m. EST Oct. 15 at www.thefriskies.com.
“Although Grumpy Cat might not show it, we are excited to continue our relationship with Friskies. Friskies was our first official partnership in March and it’s an honor to sign on with the brand,” said Tabatha Bundesen, Grumpy Cat’s owner. “We are thrilled for Grumpy Cat to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at ‘The Friskies,’ and collaborate on future programs with a brand that truly understands the fun of Internet cats and the humor of Grumpy Cat.”
The cat food brand has leveraged the digital space in its marketing efforts, and shown its social media savvy. For example, in addition to the “Will Kitty Play With It?” video series, the brand created a line of eight free tablet and mobile Games for Cats and apps available for download through App Stores for iOS and Android. Friskies also features DIY Homemade Cat Toys on Pinterest. The brand awarded its first major prizes for the best cat videos of the year in 2012 at “The Friskies,” which the brand says is like the Oscars for cat videos. The 2013 “The Friskies” Video Contest is underway.
Given the brand's comfort with social media and its efforts to establish Web presence by keeping existing customers engaged while reaching out to new ones, its partnership with a cat that has managed to get more than 1 million Facebook fans seems like a natural move.
Grumpy Cat has also transcended social media and taken the real world by storm with a movie deal, a book on the New York Times bestseller list, a branded coffee drink and an expanding line of merchandise.
The Friskies brand offers a complete line of cat foods, including more than 60 wet, dry and treat varieties. Friskies is manufactured by Nestlé Purina PetCare, a global leader in the pet care industry.