Business

24 November 2015

Kitten power 

If there’s one thing the Internet has taught us, it’s that even the most insensitive of people melt when looking at pictures of baby animals.

A Japanese cognitive psychology study published in 2012 proves that looking at pictures of cute kittens or puppies improves dexterity and concentration as well as giving a sensation of warmth and tenderness.  

To arrive at this conclusion, the team from the University of Hiroshima carried out a series of experiments with some 100 students, both men and women.  

The principle consisted of playing games requiring application and concentration before and after looking at pictures of “kawai” baby animals (cute in Japanese), adult animals and food. Result: the “kawai” group got the best scores: 44% of students were more skilful and 16% were better at remembering figures.  

Researchers now believe that “cute pictures can be used as triggers for positive behaviour” in certain situations such as driving a vehicle or professional tasks.

And although “cutesy” animals and “LOLcats” help you to concentrate, they also have another superpower: they can sell.

Creative minds in ad agencies have caught onto this and use them to sell, among other things, mobile phones, banking services, nights in hotels, drinks and tyres.

The animals in these ads have every quality: they are honest, loyal, approachable and cross the generations. They have unlimited funds of likeability and allow brands position themselves better.

These furry and feathered brand ambassadors provide an opportunity to brings brands to life, to personalise them and to seduce. This phenomenon is not likely to disappear if you take a look at the latest animal ad sagas.

Finally, on the Internet and in the advertisements, filming kittens also makes economic sense – they cost a lot less than models and they don’t claim royalties.