Cat and budgie—sworn enemies in the real world, last time I checked—join forces to tout British TV service Freeview in these extremely silly spots from Leo Burnett London.
Kitty paws open the birdcage and the pair perform a soulful duet of of the Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell tune "You're All I Need to Get By." Their owner's thoroughly baffled, and a voiceover tells us, "Entertainment—it's even better when it's free. Ninety-five percent of the nation's top TV, no monthly cost. Freeview. How good is that?" Not nearly as good as a singing cat and budgie, I'm sure. (Or a singing cat and kid, but that's a different ad.)
Phillip Meyler and Darren Keff, the Burnett creatives who crafted the campaign, tell AdFreak they took their inspiration from examples of real-world entertainment that people enjoy all the more because they are free, such as watching pets play together. A cat and budgie were chosen because the grandmothers of both Meyler and Keff have this particular "classic" pairing of pets.
The fun effort from director Ne-O at production house Stink is exceedingly cute—and cute critters almost always score in ads. But there's implicit tension that gives the commercial something extra. On first viewing, I wondered if the cat would ultimately eat the budgie. Or vice versa. Maybe in the sequel. Or else Freeview could add a Kinky tadpole from last year's spot and make it a trio.
A series of 20-second clips introducing the "Budgiecat" are even stranger than the minute-long centerpiece spot. Here, the creatures don't just duet, they physically meld, like a matter-transporter experiment gone awry, into a mischievous feline-faced feathered freak. You know you want one.