Hate ads? Have a kitty instead

Put your paws up: Vancouver-based agency Pressboard is replacing banner ads with pictures of cats.

A Vancouver-based custom content agency is drawing attention to its services with one of the most beloved things you could possibly find on the internet: cats!

What do cats have to do with Pressboard’s business? Well, nothing, really, but people on the internet seem to love them. And Pressboard is banking on the fact that people love them more than they love banner ads.

The program is something that people can opt into by going to the site IWantMoreCats.com. Those who click on the button indicating that they want more cats (and really, who doesn’t?) will start to get retargeted with ads showing nothing more than kittens. From Buzzfeed to the New York Times to ScaryMommy, Pressboard’s cat ads will gradually creep up around various online publishers. Those who click through will be taken to Pressboard’s website, which has a simple message for people: banner ads are disruptive and take away from valuable space that could be spent on cats. Of course, it’s promoting Pressboard’s bread and butter – custom content like articles and videos – as an alternative to ads.

The cat app not an ad-blocker – Pressboard co-founder Jerrid Grimm told Stimulant Pressboard placed and timed an ad buy just like any other advertiser would. He says it’s a way of turning the adtech industry’s tactics against them. “While the adtech companies are busy sipping rosé on their yachts in Cannes, we are using their own technology to take their banner ads down.”

He added that since they’re not technically removing the ad units, only replacing the creative with their own ads, publishers are still getting paid by the ad exchanges, which is resulting in what Grimm says is “overwhelmingly positive” feedback.

Grimm said it’s hoping to attract advertisers and agencies “that are looking to market through stories instead of ads… The key insight is that people would much prefer to see an internet without banner ads, and if we can make that reality come true, then why not?”

He added that in the interest of diversity, a dog version will roll out soon.

Cat on NYT Cat on scary mommy Cat on buzzfeed