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Cats Consistently Steal The Show

Assistant Professor Jessica Gall Myrick from Indiana University, America, recently asked 7,000 people how they felt before and after watching videos of cats. The results conclusively revealed that people felt less anxious and heartwarmingly happier.

The real superstars of online viewing are cats, doing what cats do and being so innocently seductive in unblinking, photogenic close-ups.

There are 2 million cat videos on YouTube alone that have attracted an impressive 24.6 billion views between them. This makes cats the single most popular YouTube category with an average of 12,000 views per video.

It is not surprising therefore, that advertising commercials featuring cats score high on viewer likeability, memorability and positive brand awareness.

1. Cravendale Milk, Cats With Thumbs

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London

Directed by Ulf Johansson with a voice-over by Tim Curry, the star of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the commercial was part of an integrated, ‘Milk Matters’ campaign for Cravendale.

A Facebook and Twitter presence was established for Bertrum, the lead cat in the commercial. He responded to people, offered them additional fun viewing opportunities, and even knitted garments. Within a month Bertrum had over 40,000 followers on Facebook.

The campaign achieved over 7 million YouTube views. It won numerous awards including being voted ITV’s ‘Campaign of the Year’.

2. Toyota Corolla, Nine Lives

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Auckland, New Zealand

Directed by Hamish Rothwell, this amusing commercial is about a cat that risks every one of his nine lives for one more ride in a Toyota Corolla. Although the end line is a bit vague, and not especially brand specific, the commercial nevertheless, was a huge hit with viewers and rapidly went viral.

3. Mercedes-Benz, Sleeping Cat

This feline assisted, CLA-Class demonstration of its sleek aerodynamic design, notched up a staggering 800,000 views in three weeks.

I was unfortunately, unable to ascertain the advertising agency and film director involved in this appealing commercial.

4. Telefónica 02, I Used To Be A Cat

 Advertising Agency:  VCCP (Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest), London

This commercial was used as an amusing metaphor for embracing new technology via 02. The multi award winning campaign inspired 385,000 views on YouTube in its first 48 hours of airing.

5. Sainsbury’s, Mog’s Christmas Calamity

 Advertising Agency: AMC BBDO, London

Directed by James Rouse and aided by visual effects studio Framestore, Mog the cat takes center stage in this emotive story.

Mog is a much loved character created by storybook wriiter Judith Kerr. He comes to entertaining life in this commercial in aid of supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, ‘Save The Children’ initiative.

The story, which is largely about community spirit, motivated 18 million YouTube views in the first two weeks of its online release.

6. Electronic Data Systems, Herding Cats

Advertising Agency: Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis

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.

The award winning EDS commercial was directed by John O’Hagen in a rewarding, tongue-in-cheek, documentary style. It was aired during the American Super Bowl to much acclaim and became one of the all time viewer favourites.

7. IKEA, Happy Inside

Advertising Agency: Mother, London

A hundred cats were released inside an IKEA Wembly UK store for an integrated TV campaign to promote their new catalogue. The aim of the commercial was also to highlight IKEAS’s insightful acknowledgement that most cat owners consider their cats to be part of the family.

Film Director Adam Berg had no idea what to expect once the cats were released but skillfully managed to produce a result that made for heartwarming viewing in the UK and far beyond.

The multi-award commercial was beautifully underscored by a soundtrack of Maria Carlye’s song ‘Pianni’ from her debut album ‘The Lovely’.

8. Dreamies Deli-Catz, Best Friends

Advertising Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB, London

Brilliantly directed by Keith Schofield, this commercial is a reminder for all cat owners that cats have to do what cats have to do. I won’t reveal more in case you haven’t seen it before.