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Making the Whiskas cat happy with AMV BBDO | #BehindTheIdea

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Whiskas has always been a popular brand for cat owners and lovers. In an attempt to cement its reputation as the brand that truly understand cats, Whiskas turned to AMV BBDO to design a new, purrrfectly unique spot with the iconic Whiskas cat as the protagonist.

In the spot, the Whiskas cat is seen while going on adventures in his submarine and getting all kinds of cuddles, all whilst enjoying the Whiskas difference. Making a cat purr is what makes them happy – and this rather quirky spot focuses on exactly that. What more could you want for your feline friend than their unconditioned love and happiness?

Today we are getting Behind the Idea with Neil Clarke, Creative Director at AMV BBDO, to learn more about this adorable Whiskas campaign.

What was the brief?

The brief was to cement Whiskas as the only brand for people who love and understand cats.

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

We had a number of ideas but as soon as we hit on the idea of being the brand that makes all cats Purr More, everything fell into place.

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Tell us more about the concept. How did it come to life, and why was it the right choice?

We wanted an idea that would live beyond film and getting inside the heads of cats helped us do that. It’s all about the purr. Whiskas exists to make cats happy and a purr is the ultimate sign of cat enjoyment so arriving at a campaign where every element is designed to make cats Purr More just made total sense. The more we looked into what makes a cat purr, the more differences we found between them and humans. Cats hear at a different frequency to humans so it makes sense they’d find different sounds pleasurable. We had a lot of fun composing music specifically for cats.

What was the production process like? What was the biggest challenge?

Working with cats was never going to be easy. As any cat owner will know, they have a way of doing whatever they want. That’s why we love them. It’s also why you have to be patient when your lead talent would rather lick its bum than take direction.

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What is one funny or notable thing that happened during the production of the campaign?

We discovered that David Teie, the national symphony cellist who composed music specifically to calm cats, is actually allergic to cats.

What’s the main message of the campaign and why does it matter?

That all cats Purr More with Whiskas. This goes beyond just cat food, everything we do as a brand will have this goal in mind from now on.

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What is one unique aspect of the campaign?

All elements of the advertising and activation will be designed to make cats purr. Whether that’s adding a specially designed mnemonic to our TVC, or going into shelters and vets to try and calm anxious cats, or even making a music video animated to appeal to cats’ eyes.

How long did it take from inception to delivery?

18 months!

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

Whiskas becomes the only brand cat parents trust to make their cat purr.

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Credit list for the campaign?

Client: Mars
Brand: WHISKAS®
Campaign title: Purr More
Client name: Lyubov Chumikova, WHISKAS® Global Brand Director at Mars; Nailya Alieva, WHISKAS® Global Brand Manager at Mars

Creative Agency:  AMV BBDO
CCO:  Alex Grieve
ECDs: Nadja Lossgott and Nicholas Hulley
Creative Director: Neil Clark and Jay Phillips
Creative Team: Jack Smedley and George Hackforth-Jones
Creative Design Director: Vanessa Fowler Kendall, Mario Kerkstra, Max Henderson and Simon Dilks
Agency Planning Team: Lola Neves, Brian Williamson, Emily Brydon and Phoebe Fielding
Agency Account Team: Alice Kasappian, Poppy Wilson, Ella Fanshawe, Matthew Henry, Ethan Meade and Maddie Burnell
Agency Producer: Sophie Honour and Joe Sloane
Media Agency: Mediacom
Production Company: Blink Ink
Director: Nina Gantz 
Production Co. Producer: Gareth Owen

Post-production Company: Blink Ink, Coffee & TV
Sound studio: 750 - Mark Hellaby
Audio Post-production: Orchestral composer Circonflex with Music Supervision Mr Pape

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