Need a Temporary Cat? These Odd U.K. Ads Encourage You to Lure Away Your Neighbor’s Pet

Adam&eveDDB stumbles into weird insight for Mars Petcare brand

Go ahead, borrow the neighbor's cat. - Credit by Mars Petcare

These days, across the British Isles, borrowing cats from friends and family is apparently a thing.

And why not? Cat borrowers get to enjoy kitty cuddling and mouse-murdering for free, while the wee beasties’ actual owners go broke paying vet bills.

We meet several such tabby takers in a series of silly spots created by adam&eveDDB in London for Dreamies cat treats, a Mars Petcare brand. In each case, non-cat-owning humans entice felines into hanging out with them, using Dreamies as bait.

First up, a pair of pint-sized purrr-loiners with an Addams Family vibe:

Forget the cat! Maybe it’s time to borrow a child psychologist for those two creepy kids.

“‘Cat Borrowers’ was one of those totally unexploited insights that you stumble upon as a creative,” agency creative director Simon Vicars tells Adweek. “Of the 11 million cat owners in the U.K., there are millions more who just borrow their neighbor’s. As soon as we started sharing the idea with people they’d say, ‘My mum/brother/auntie/grandma is a cat borrower!’”

You’d think Brexit would be enough for our pals across the pond, right?

Next, a woeful Romeo tries to impress his date by coaxing every cat in the area into his living room:

Dude, you’ll be picking hair-balls off the carpet for a week!

Finally, a nosey neighbor lady fond of local gossip might be in for a different kind of poop once kitties heed the call:

“There are hundreds of cat food brands, all vying for the same dollar,” Vicars says. “We’re right in there, competing for that same buyer, but also potentially tapping a whole new market. We know there are always two ways to increase sales: one way is to increase market share, the other way is to grow the market itself. With ‘Cat Borrowers,’ we might just do both.”

“Cats literally can’t resist Dreamies, including the cats in the films,” adds agency creative director Andre Sallowicz. “We had to be very careful when we opened or shook the packs on set to avoid creating chaos” and avert a stampede of little cat feet.


Client: Mars Petcare
Brand: Dreamies
Project/Campaign Name: “All It Takes Is A Shake: Cat Borrowers”

Emily Dowling (Global Brand Director)
Natalia Ball (Global Brand Director)
Sarah Woods (Brand Director, Mars Canada)
Maria Noriega (Brand Manager, Mars Canada)

Chief Creative Officer: Richard Brim
Creative Directors: Simon Vicars, Andre Sallowicz
Copywriter: Simon Vicars
Art Director: Andre Sallowicz
Agency Producer: Stephen Mead
Planner: Milla McPhee
Group Managing Director: Fiona McArthur
Managing Partner: Charlotte Cook
Business Director: Jaimee Kerr
Account Director: Adam Patel
Account Manager: Sofia von Stieglitz Pérez
Account Executive: Clive Olamiju
Designer/Typographer: Danny Tompkins

Media Agency: Mediacom

Production Company: Blink
Executive Producer: Paul Weston
Producer: Andrew Studholme
Director: Nick Ball
D.O.P: Stephen Keith Roach

Editing Company: Stitch
Editor: Leo King
Post Production: Coffee&TV
Colourist: Richard Fearon @ MPC

Audio Post Production: John Clarke @ Factory

Join the foremost brand marketers, such as Marc Pritchard, Brad Hiranaga, Kory Marchisotto and more, for Brandweek Masters Live on Sept. 14-17. Secure your pass and learn from the brand masters.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: February 12, 2019 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT