All that glitters is kitty litter

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The talking cats are back, and this time they're contemplating sparkly kitty litter.

Ralston Purina today breaks its first TV advertising for Tidy Cats Crystals Blend, a new litter mixture. In the spot, two young cats think they've discovered diamonds in the midst of their clay litter, but an older and wiser feline explains the glittering bits are actually crystals, which eliminate odors.

The work was created by Berlin Cameron & Partners, New York, which has held the Tidy Cats account since 1995.

The new Tidy Cats product is a combination of traditional clay litter, and the Tidy Cats Crystals, a product launched a year ago. "Crystal litter is still out there, but very expensive. It's the Rolls Royce product," said Sigrid Jakob, director of planning and partner at Berlin Cameron. "This hybrid has some of the most advanced litter with some of the most tried and trusted, so you get the technologically advanced benefits, while still being affordable for most consumers," Ms. Jakob said.

The Tidy Cats Crystals Blend ad is slated to run during prime time programming, and is targeted for a younger, more active consumer who is not often at home and therefore doesn't have the time to change litter often.

Ralston Purina is locked in a tight battle with Clorox Co., maker of the Fresh Step Crystals as well as Scoop Away, Johnny Cat and Everfresh brands, for leadership in the $923 million category. For the 13 weeks ended March 24, Ralston had a 30.6% share, just behind Clorox's combined 31.1% share. Clorox has been more aggressive with trade promotion in the category in the past year after losing share the year before to Ralston.

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