Cravendale: Cats With Thumbs


Cats with thumbs drive a milk brand to number one.

People love cats. And cats love milk. So we wondered what would happen in a world in which cats evolve opposable thumbs. And so the campaign was born: a whole new world for Cravendale to show that Milk Matters.

We seeded our campaign about “Cats with Thumbs” online by introducing the world to “Jimmy,” the feline star of “Amazing Cat Gives Thumbs Up,” a short 38 second video shot in the style of a classic YouTube pet video. Jimmy appeared to be giving a thumbs up and thumbs down ostensibly in response to his unseen owner’s voice asking him to. Jimmy became an Internet sensation exceeding our wildest dreams. Jimmy's role wasn’t to generate fame for Cravendale directly, but to create the optimum context into which its new campaign would launch. By never linking the brand to Jimmy people were free to speculate as to his connection with “Cats With Thumbs,” which they did, frequently.

He even made it to page three of the Metro. And whilst chat about cats with thumbs was taking the country by storm, we launched Cravendale’s TV campaign nationwide. The internet exploded. The brand was trending. People couldn’t get enough of the stuff.

We gave the star of the show, and leader of the cats, Bertrum, his own platform on Facebook and interest grew. A new star was born. And a lot of milk was sold.


The campaign helped establish Cravendale as UK’s number one branded milk in a market dominated by own label. It contributed to 9% YOY sales uplift in a time of unprecedented commercial pressure. The ad was voted ITV’s Ad of the Year by the good people of the UK.

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