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Pets Develop Apps-titude Print E-mail

You can’t say brand and marketing managers at Friskies, a unit of Nestle Purina Pet Care Company, weren’t thorough in their research leading to the launch of its successful iPad game app called Cat Fishing. It’s been downloaded more than half a million times. As a result, the company released several other games. But not before running its concepts by an elite focus group of specialists. Six cats. App designer Eric Sutherland calls the experts “gamer’ cats, and claims they have become “completely obsessed” with the games.

And good at them, too. Another Friskies app – “You vs. Cat” – is what Sutherland calls “the first dual species game.” Cats are pitted against humans who try to flick a ball across the screen as cats try to deflect it. Points are given to people if they get past the feline defense. Cats score when they reject a shot. The current leader board on the Friskies website has cats ahead 2.7 million points to 2.3 million.

Friskies Pet Cap - Cat Fishing

"The iTunes store carries at least a dozen pet specific apps that dogs and cats can play with..."

The iTunes store carries at least a dozen pet specific apps that dogs and cats can play with, but other animal species have taken a fancy to them, also. “Penguins especially seem to really love Game For Cats, but I don’t think the market is very big,” says T.J. Fuller, who helped develop the app recognized as the forerunner to Friskies’ Cat Fishing.

The newest game Fuller and his partner Nate Murray have created, might encounter marketing challenges of its own. The Catzilla action line – felines destroying animated urban landscapes – may be too much even for edgy early app adapters.



Written by: Dennis McLaughlin, McLaughlin Writers Group, LLC
Sources: Nestle Purina Pet Care Company; T.J. Fuller, Nate Murray, developers of Game for Cats; Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2013.

Published: 2013-11-21


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