New Whiskas Variety Gets ‘Tested’ in D’Arcy Ads

The soft center of the new Whiskas cat food variety is the focus of a TV and print campaign from D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles.
The introduction of Whiskas’ “Savory Nuggets” will be backed by a budget slightly higher than the $12 million recorded in past years, said John Curtiss, vice president of marketing for Kal Kan Foods, Vernon, Calif., a division of Mars.
Spots from the St. Louis shop break this week on national cable and network TV, with print ads set for July issues of magazines including People, Better Homes & Gardens and Cooking Light. Ads target women.
The campaign’s message is that Savory Nuggets is a dry food that cats will relish almost as much as so-called “wet” food, Curtiss said.
“Cats are known for being finicky,” said Ron Crooks, executive creative director at the shop. “The fact that there’s dry food in their bowls is typically irrelevant to them.”
A 30-second TV spot shows two men in lab coats testing the new Whiskas against an unnamed brand by dropping it off a 40-story building. Brand X is so dry it just crumbles. But the “experiment” is left incomplete when a cat leaps into the air to catch a Savory Nugget before it hits the ground. The nugget dropped in a second try is caught by a cat that reaches its paw out of a window.
The spot ends with the animated “Chuck and Marvin” cat characters and the tagline, “What cats want” that Whiskas has used previously. K