How a Cat in a Shark Costume Provided the Best Marketing Roomba Could've Hoped For

A Mars mission and toy doll were among its first customers

Sometime around Halloween 2012, a Houston woman named Helen Arnold set out to buy a shark costume for her dog, a pit bull named Sharkey. When she could find only a small-sized outfit, Arnold decided to let her cat Max wear it instead. Max, as things turned out, not only tolerated being dressed as a shark, but the chill Siamese also had taken to riding around atop the Roomba robot vacuum that Arnold had bought. With kitty all suited up, Arnold began to post videos.

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This story first appeared in the June 7, 2021, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.