“I had never heard of Cravendale milk until Bertrum Thumbcat came along… I bought my first carton today and it’s quite tasty! Yes, I am a slave to advertising … and to thumbed cats.”

From www.facebook.com/bertrumthumbcat

What would happen if cats had thumbs? This is one of the questions we’ve all asked ourselves (or is that just me?). Cravendale milk have decided to answer this for us with a great example of viral marketing.


Bertrum ThumbcatThe ad appears to be aimed at a tech-savvy audience with its twitter, facebook and web channels highlighted at the end of the ad. This seems to have paid off as Bertrum Thumbcat (the feline star of the ad) attracting more than 15,000 fans on Facebook and almost 2,500 followers on Twitter (an interesting imbalance, maybe Bertrum is more fun in the media-rich and community-centric world of Facebook). The YouTube video itself has had over 1.5m views.

Milk isn’t a sexy product to market, we pour it on cornflakes and put it in tea. Also, one pint of milk is pretty much the same as any other so differentiating your brand is a bigger challenge than with many other products. Cravendale have previously differentiated their product by highlighting the fact it is filtered and therefore purer though their previous ads didn’t stand out so much (one of their previous ads has a fraction of the views on YouTube).

Whilst the ad itself is very funny and people may share it amongst their friends, that in itself is not necessarily the mark of a successful viral marketing campaign. The transition to measurable tools such as the Facebook page allows the brand to subtly build a relationship with the consumer and continue the ad’s success beyond its initial TV airing. The enthusiasm of the page’s users suggest that Cravendale have made their brand of milk stand out to consumers.