The Internet is for sharing knowledge, interacting with others, and expanding our mental and social horizons. Scrap that. The Internet is for cat videos--and Friskies knows it.
The Friskies Plus Playhouse is a social-media experiment that embeds live feeds of rescue cats into Friskies's Facebook page. Ten cats occupy a feline fantasy penthouse full of scratchers, videos of rodents and birds, an aquarium, wiggling toys, and stacks of cat food cans.
Facebook users can wait in line to activate remote-control toys to drive the felines wild. This is made possible by iPet Companion, a technology system that is already in use in several shelters around the country.
I got in the queue and sat through a 30-minute wait to have my turn. That wait time was filled with live video of adorable fluffernutters strolling around on cat walks, attacking virtual fish on a touch-screen floor, and napping. Mostly napping.
The few frenzied minutes when I was in control of three different toys, as well as camera panning and zooming, was totally worth it. I enticed a black and white fuzzball into attacking a writhing toy.
We've seen some creative Facebook marketing stunts before. The giant chocolate "Like" thumbs-up and live parrot chat come to mind. The Friskies concept is notable for its long-running nature and viewer interactivity.
The playhouse runs through Feb. 19 and goes live between noon and 3 p.m. PST. You can catch up on the day's cutest moments with YouTube highlights.