Cat Tricks

Code, Concept, Experience Design/UX, Web

We wanted to provoke outrage and leverage the fake news phenomenon, along with people's empathy for cats in online videos to bring the real abuse inflicted on circus cats every day into the spotlight.

No cats were harmed in the making of this video.


In a world where fake news has the media's attention, real animal rights issues are struggling for coverage. We would hijack the phenomenon and produce a computer generated cat video mirroring circus cruelty to big cats. Leaked by the media and condemned as an attempt to spread fake news, we would (albeit controversially and without a single dollar spent on paid media) make millions of impressions and bring the topic into conversation.

A digital site would be built to house our important reveal video and urge outraged users to sign a petition to end big cat acts in circuses and pledge never to go.



The video would be the primary focus of the site, and it had to hit immediately. Given that visitors would be driven to the page either having uncovered the "easter egg" url, hidden in plain sight in the video, or via the coverage the video was getting in the media.

The design was iterative, of course, The page needed to function very simply. To educate, and then to provide a couple powerful calls to action - Take the pledge and share via social.



As of today, PETA's Cat Tricks video has received 1,042,632 views across PETA's main platforms, almost 2,000 retweets, and more than 17,500 shares on Facebook. And elicited strong reactions across social.

SITE     www.rufusthecat.com

PRESS     Washington Post