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The Age-Old Attraction of Cats

It’s not surprising that commercials starring cats, usually guarantee high levels of shared viewer interest.

Domesticated cats have been revered for centuries. Ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilisations to have worshipped them as holy deities for more than 3,000 years.

Egyptians believed cats were to be treasured for their mystical prowess of bringing good fortune to the people who housed them. And to honour them, wealthy families adorned them with jewels and fed them special treats, and when they died, as befitting all holy deities, they were mummified.

The Egyptian love of cats spread globally, and as we can see daily, feline admiration is alive and well in the 21st century. 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.

‘Felinology’ experts revealed recently that the ageless, human affinity for cats, can be 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.

1. Vanquis Bank, Walk Tall

Advertising Agency: NOW, London, United Kingdom

Vanquis Bank claims that via their their credit card system, that helps customers improve their credit rating and confidence, they are able to provide financial assistance to people that other banks say no to.

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.

2. Chevrolet Silverado, Walter The Cat

Advertising Agency: Commonwealth/McCann North America, Detroit, USA

Directed by filmmaker Jim Jenkins, ‘Walter The Cat’ entertainingly becomes man’s new best friend in a commercial promoting the Silverado’s unique multi-flex tailgate.

The soundtrack features American singer, songwriter, and poet, Harry McClintock’s famous “Big Rock Candy Mountain”.

3. Diet Coke, Kittens

Advertising Agency: Droga5, New York, USA

Filmed in New York and directed by filmmaker Keith Schofield, the immensely charming ‘Kittens’ commercial is part of Diet Coke’s ‘Get A Taste’ brand-communication campaign.

Starring Taylor Swift and featuring a soundtrack of her song “That’s how you get the girl”, the scenario provides viewers, with a fun ‘taste’ of Taylor’s favourite things with no guesses required, that its Diet Coke and adorable kittens, lots of them.

4. EDS, Herding Cats

Advertising Agency: Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis, 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.

The award winning Electronic Data Systems commercial was directed by filmmaker John O’Hagen in a rewarding, tongue-in-cheek, documentary style. It was aired during the American Super Bowl, and unsurprisingly, became one of the audience’s all-time favourites.

5. Dreamies Deli-Catz, Best Friends

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Impressively directed by filmmaker Keith Schofield, ‘Best Friends’ is a reminder for all cat owners that cats will always do, what their self-serving instinct compels them to do. I won’t reveal more in case you haven’t seen the engaging commercial before.

6. IKEA, Happy Inside

Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK

A hundred cats were released inside Britain’s IKEA Wembley store for an integrated TV campaign to promote their new catalogue. The commercial also endorses the insightful acknowledgement that many household pet lovers consider their cats to be part of the family.

Filmmaker and director Adam Berg had no idea what to expect once the cats were released, but skilfully managed to produce a result that made for popular family viewing in the UK and far beyond.

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

7. Toyota Corolla, Nine Lives

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Auckland, New Zealand

Directed by filmmaker Hamish Rothwell, this highly entertaining commercial about an accident prone cat, that owing to it’s ‘nine lives’, manages to survive amusing calamities to enjoy the repeated purring-pleasure of travelling in a Toyota Corolla.

Although the scenario’s ‘cat with nine lives’ analogy is not that clear to me about how it relates to the Corolla brand’s salient features other than durability and endurance, the commercial nevertheless, was a huge hit with viewers and rapidly went viral globally.

8. Purina Friskies Dear Kitten, Regarding Friendship

Advertising Agency: BuzzFeed Media and Entertainment Company, New York, USA

Produced and directed by BuzzFeed, ‘Regarding Friendship’ is part of the popular ‘Dear Kitten’ long-form storytelling series of commercials for Purina’s Friskies brand

For cat lovers, the charming online commercial about advice for kitten from an older cat, with its ‘voice-over’ narration by BuzzFeed’s Ze Frank, makes for delightful viewing.