What is IKEA’s Beef with Black Cats?

September 15, 2010

By Cole

Swedish furniture maker IKEA recently hired a new ad agency who concocted a scheme to let 100 cats and kittens loose one night in an IKEA in Wembley, England, to shoot a TV commercial. The “actors” weren’t trained stunt cats, but they seemed mostly light-colored purebreds with a few calicos and one bald gray one thrown in. There wasn’t a single black cat. Such discrimination could only have been deliberate.

But why? Black cats look GREAT on IKEA stuff. We’re trés chic!

Here’s a video about how they filmed the commercial…

I think it was harebrained to let the cats roam the whole store and warehouse at once. They couldn’t possibly have captured all the picturesque things those cats must have done. The best bits probably never made it to film. It was also dangerous for the cats because they were in a strange place surrounded by strange people and never knew who was lurking around the corner.

IKEA’s ad people said they used cats because the new tagline is “Happy Inside” and cats have a reputation as pleasure-seeking missiles who will do anything to be comfortable and content.

Here’s the finished 1-minute ad…

Just imagine the same ad with 100 dogs, barking and drooling and cocking their legs. At the end of the shoot, the humans wouldn’t have had to just vacuum fur off the cushions, but shovel steaming piles while trying to salvage the furniture that had been peed on.

As the next step in their advertising campaign, IKEA should let some of the cats star in a reality show. The ones who flashed their claws would be naturals. They could call it The Real Housecats of Wembley and furnish their homes exclusively with IKEA products.


Toyota’s Making Cats Turn to Crime

November 12, 2008

By Yul

Toyota Australia is launching a series of nonsensical ads where they put cute kitten heads on human bodies and make them steal.

In Episode 1: The Heist, this lone, two-legged “kitten” (named Max, I learned) wanders into a derelict shopping mall, startling some strategically placed white mice that look like lab escapees. He encounters a pack of feral cats in black jogging suits. A fight ensues, and Max turns into Jackie Chan.

Toyota's hero, Max

Toyota's hero, Max

The scene shifts to ferals standing at a well-stocked seafood buffet out of nowhere. Max distracts them by making the overhead lamp swing, then stuffs their fish into his man-purse before fleeing.

The ad ends with Max peeling out of an empty parking deck in a black Toyota Corolla, with the tag line:

Corolla. Packed with a lil’ action.

An ad industry site, Campaign Brief, explains the ad agency’s rationale and says this was the introduction to an animated graphic novel called The Getaway that will continue online. A sidekick named Misty will be introduced to accompany Max through three adventures: 9 Lives and Counting, Landing on All Fours, and The Sound and the Furry.

Weird as this is, it’s better than this purely creepy Nissan Dualis ad, also from Australia, that features a flying black cat/spider thing.

What I don’t get is why Australians think cats sell cars. What’s the connection?

Most cats HATE cars, except for Rambo, the Taxi Tabby. For most of us, a ride in the car means one thing – a trip to the vet.


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