The biggest night of the year for Internet cat videos had a little bit of everything – Catuette trophies, cash prizes, a live text vote and lots of laughs, even though Grumpy Cat was there too.
After months of competition and anticipation, Friskies awarded four category winners and the Fan Favorite during “The Friskies” live Award Show, Tuesday night, in New York City. “The Friskies” is the major Award Show for the best cat videos of the year. Fans watching online at www.TheFriskies.com and in person witnessed a star-studded live show, featuring the comedy of host Michael Ian Black and special appearances by actor and cat owner Angela Kinsey. Kinsey offered her thoughts on cat video trends for 2014, tips for watching cat videos at work without getting caught, and presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Internet sensation Grumpy Cat.
At just a year and a half old, Grumpy Cat has become internationally famous for her pessimistic yet hilarious photo memes and viral videos. She has a rabid fan base that includes over one million Facebook fans, and wide appeal across social media. Grumpy Cat has also taken the real world by storm with a movie deal, a book on the New York Times bestseller list, a branded coffee drink, and an expanding line of merchandise, making Grumpy one of the biggest cat celebrities of all time.
“‘The Friskies’ is like the OSCARS for cat videos,” said Shawn Brain, Friskies Brand Manager. “We’re thrilled that tens of thousands of fans voted for their favorite videos, and then tuned in online to see Michael, Angela, Grumpy Cat and the winning cat videos. We had fun seeing our passionate fans participate in real-time by tweeting throughout the show, and texting their votes for the Fan Favorite award.”
Friskies awarded each winning video a $5,000 cash prize, a gold-plated Catuette trophy and bragging rights as one of the best Internet cat videos of 2013. The winning videos featured cats caught on camera in a variety of entertaining situations, and highlighted the curiosity and imagination unique to cats in ways that make us want to watch over and over again.
“The Friskies” judging panel helped present the awards. The judges were “Henri le Chat Noir” creator Will Braden; Adopt-a-Pet.com executive director Abbie Moore; and Mick Szydlowski, “The Friskies” 2012 Grand Prize Winner and owner of Oskar the Blind Cat. In July, they narrowed down nearly 2,500 video submissions to 20 Semi-Finalists. Each Semi-Finalist received a one-year supply of Friskies cat food and Friskies Party Mix cat treats.
From there, it was up to the public alone to choose the top three Finalist videos in each category throughout the month of August. Those top Finalists converged in New York City for “The Friskies” Award Show, and the Finalist in each category with the most votes was named category winner. The public also chose the Fan Favorite through a one-day text vote on October 15, the day of the Award Show. The Fan Favorite was the final prize of the evening.
Friskies gave away more than cash prizes and Catuette trophies. To recognize the hard work cat rescue and charity organizations do to ensure cats find forever homes, Friskies partnered with 20 cat charity organizations nationwide. Friskies awarded those partners 330,000 total cans of Friskies cat food throughout “The Friskies” Contest. The organizations helped spread the word about “The Friskies,” and encouraged their communities to take part by submitting videos, voting and tuning in to the Award Show. The efforts of the Friskies Facebook and Twitter communities to like, comment on and share videos and other content helped trigger a donation of 65,000 cans of Friskies among the charities, which helped the charities earn more than the original goal of 250,000 cans. In total, the charities earned 330,000 cans of Friskies cat food.