- Temptations, a Mars Inc. cat treat brand, is premiering a horror movie for cats on Oct. 16 that is titled "Scaredy Cat," the company said in a press release. The film's release coincides with the launch of limited-edition Temptations Creepy Catnip Treats.
- The film, which goes live at 6 pm E.T. on YouTube and Amazon Fire TV, features a cat as it follows a mysterious ball of yarn from one room to the next within a scary haunted house. Eventually, the cat wanders into the kitchen and confronts its most frightening obstacle: a cucumber, per the release.
- The brand teamed up with creative agency adam&eveDDB and the Waltham Petcare Science Institute to integrate specific sound frequencies into the movie that would captivate cats. To see the film, Amazon Fire TV users can say "Alexa find 'Scaredy Cat' on YouTube" with their Alexa Voice Remote or via a paired Echo or Fire TV Cube, per the announcement.
Temptations' horror film was inspired by internet videos of cats jumping in fear of cucumbers, a popular subset of videos that fits into the well-document broader trend of consumers being entertained by cat videos online. Mars Petcare had these videos in mind when it decided to create a tongue-in-cheek horror film, Craig Neely, vice president of marketing at Mars Petcare, said in a statement.
Arriving during a year when more consumers are likely to be celebrating Halloween at home because of the ongoing pandemic, the brand has created a film it purports cat owners and their pets can enjoy together. Watching online videos of all kinds has surged during the pandemic, and the simultaneous launch of Creepy Catnip Treats gives pet owners a way to treat their cats on Halloween.
Mars Inc. is among several marketers doubling down on digital strategies for Halloween this year. This month, the company's Mars Wrigley candy business introduced a virtual trick-or-treat experience titled Treat Town. Mars is also sponsoring the Bite Size Halloween series, which features short films for families celebrating Halloween at home. Hostess and Sour Patch Kids have also recently revamped their Halloween marketing as they look to support candy sales during a year that is so unusual, marketers aren't sure what to expect.
The Temptations Creepy Catnip Treats promotion comes as Amazon debuts new Echo and Fire TV devices amid growing adoption for voice devices. In late September, Amazon released multiple new Echo devices as well as a New Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite with enhanced sound and remote capabilities.