We Replaced 68 Tube Adverts with Cats
For the next two weeks, a Tube station in South London will create a rip in the space time continuum. The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service has replaced 68 adverts in Clapham Common with pictures of cats. This isn’t a clever marketing stunt for a pet food brand, or a guerrilla campaign for a new TV series. The people behind it are volunteers who raised the money on Kickstarter. We want to inspire people to think differently about the world and realise they have the power to change it.
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day I can hear her breathing.”
I’m the founder of Glimpse, a new collective that wants to use the power of creativity for good. Instead of focusing on the problem, we create “glimpses” of a world where things are getting better. Back in February we asked ourselves to “imagine a world where friends and experiences were more valuable than stuff you can buy”. The team began thinking about crowdfunding to replace Tube adverts with something else. Beautiful forests? Time spent with family? Hmmm. We wanted this to become famous, so we needed something the internet would love. Frame it that way and the answer’s obvious. Cats.
Since that day in February we’ve run a successful Kickstarter campaign that was backed by over 700 people. We’ve collaborated with designers, creatives and writers across the UK to make this happen. We’ve been on the news in China, and one of our backers is flying in from America to see his cat in one of the final posters. This project has uncorked a kind of energy that I haven’t experienced before. When you talk about CATS, eyes light up and new ideas start to flow. We don’t know exactly how Glimpse is going to work*, but we want to carry this energy with us as we grow up.
It’s important to say that we’re not against advertising. We need creativity more than ever, to open our eyes to new ways of looking at the world and thinking about our place within it. We want agencies and brands to be mindful of the power they wield and to use it to encourage positive values in society. Things like empathy and tolerance, community and togetherness deserve to be at the heart of our culture. In these dark times, visionary artists are already using these values to illuminate a path to a better future. Imagine a world where the creative industry used its enormous power to make these values feel aspirational and relevant to millions of people.
That might seem like a distant dream. But six months ago, few of us would have imagined a London Tube station filled with pictures of cats, either.
Want to help Glimpse grow? Contact us.