Brand Ambassadors: Garfield

When Alpo decided to enter the cat food market in the 1980s, the company needed an ambassador who could convince cat owners to risk bringing a new food home to their pets. Rather than creating a new character or settling for a generic cat, Alpo chose Garfield, an already popular cartoon character created by Jim Davis, to do the job.

With a reputation as a gourmand, Garfield translated human sensibilities of quality to a food more suitable for his species and suggested in a humorous way that Alpo cat food was good enough for even the fussiest cat. Garfield’s face also made Alpo’s products instantly recognizable on supermarket shelves.

Additional content in the Hagley Digital Archive: