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Catalytic Cats In Commercials

There are over 2 million cat videos on YouTube alone, that have attracted an impressive 24 and a half billion views between them. This makes cats the single most popular category with an average of 14,000 views per video.

‘Felinology’ experts revealed recently, that the human affinity for cats, that dates as far back as Ancient Egypt, when cats were worshiped as household deities, can be largely ascribed to their research findings, that cats experience the same feelings, and emotions that we all do. Fear, love, boredom, playfulness, curiosity, anger, antagonism, depression, happiness, and a gamut of other relatable human emotions.

It is not surprising therefore, that cats in commercials, are catalysts of high-scoring viewer likability and brand memorability.

1. Lexus, At Home In An NX

Advertising Agency: The&Partnership, Tokyo, Japan

Production Company: Great Guns, Tokyo, Japan

Post Production and SFX Company: UPP, Prague, Czech Republic

Directed by filmmaker Bruce St Clair, the star of the ‘At Home’ scenario, is a stray cat that makes a home for itself in a Lexus owner’s NX.

Impressed by the cat’s defiance to leave, he succumbs to the seductive feline’s resilience, turning on the ‘purringly’ comforting, passenger seat-warmer, and deciding to take the cat into his care.

The inventive, mould-breaking, automotIve genre commercIal, is charmingly memorable.

2. Dutch State Lottery, Kitten Frummel

Advertising Agency: TBWA\NEBOKO, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Production Company CZAR, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Post Production and VFX Studio: Ambassadors, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dutch State Lottery, New Year’s Eve jackpot-draw scenarios, have been enduringly heart-winning, with their campaign message, and portrayals, that there are many rewarding moments in daily-life, that are more valuable than winning a big prize

Directed by filmmaker Bart Timmer, the scenario, featuring an adorable black kitten named ‘Frummel’, is brought to life in a short film tale, with an unexpected ending, and a stirring soundtrack, by Jorrit Kleijnen, and Jacob Meijer, form the Amsterdam based, composer collective studio, Lion Noir.

Contrary to the superstition that black cats cause bad luck, Frummel’s caring home provider, discovers that with every meow the kitten magically seems to create good luck.

The ‘Frummel’ commercial spearheaded the campaign’s media integration, that included a collaboration with local shelters, and the national organisation,, to bring good luck to Dutch shelter cats.

3. Vanquis Bank, Walk Tall

Advertising Agency: NOW, London, UK

Production Company and VFX Studio: MPC Creative, London, UK

A subsidiary of the Provident Financial Group, Vanquis Bank Ltd., headquartered in London UK, provides commercial banking services for retail and institutional customers, and offers credit cards, loans, credit advice, and financial news.

Vanquis Bank’s campaign proposition, is that they are able to provide financial assistance to people, other banks say no to, by improving their credit ratings and confidence, via their credit card system.

Directed by filmmaker Henry Littlechild, to a soundtrack of Irish singer Val Doonican’s hit, “Walk Tall…and look the world right in the eye”, the highly entertaining commercial of a confident, upright walking cat, strolling along a busy street-market, is a viewing treat.

4. Dreamies DeliCatz, Best Friends

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Production Company: Caviar, London, UK

Brilliantly directed by filmmaker Keith Schofield, the charming scenario about a pet cat and a little chicken, who become ‘Best Friends”, ends on an unexpected note, with a reminder to all cat owners, that without diligent care, cats will resort to behavioural instincts. 

5. EDS, Herding Cats

Advertising Agency: Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Production Company: Hungry Man, Los Angeles, California, USA

Post Production and VFX Studio: Sight Effects, Venice, California, USA

The phrase ‘herding cats’ is a metaphor for the impossibility of controlling the uncontrollable. The analogy likens the chances of finding an effective solution for complicated problems to that of successfully herding cats.

Filmed at the vast and scenic Tejon Ranch, about 70 miles north of Los Angeles, the award winning Electronic Data Systems commercial was directed by filmmaker John O’Hagen in a rewarding, tongue-in-cheek, documentary styled commercial, with a cast of predominantly authentic, ‘real-life cowboys’.

The EDS ‘Herding Cats’ commercial was aired during the 34th American Super Bowl Football Championships at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, between the Los Ageless Rams, and the Tennessee Titans.

For the 100-million plus, game-viewing audience, the ‘Cat Herders’ commercial unsurprisingly, became one of their all-time favourites, that included the likes of President Bill Clinton.

6. Freeview, Love

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

Production Company: Stink Films, London, UK

Freeview is a digital terrestrial television platform, and as the name implies, is a broadcast service that provides free-to-air television channels to UK audiences.

Directed by Singaporean actor, and filmmaker, Jack Neo, this highly entertaining scenario, features a cat and a budgie singing Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s,“You’re All I Need To Get By”, in a superbly produced, and very memorable commercial, that was widely lauded.

7. IKEA, Happy Inside                                                                                      

Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK

Production Company: Stink Films, London, UK

inspired by the insight, that most cat owners consider their cats to be part of the family, a hundred cats were released inside Britain’s IKEA Wembley store, for an integrated TV campaign to promote IKEA’s new catalogue.

Director and filmmaker Adam Berg, had no idea what to expect once the cats were released. But with skilfully obtained film footage, that was masterly edited, a multi-award commercial was produced, of popular viewing appeal by a global audience. 

Underscoring the classic commercial, is a soundtrack of English, singer, songwriter, producer, and arranger, Mara Carlyle’s beautiful song, “Pianni”, from her debut album ‘The Lovely’.