Cats Totally Destroy a Holiday Wonderland in This Raucous Ad for Temptations Treats

'Keep them busy' with a different distraction

Cats on Christmas Day, capering beneath an impeccably trimmed tree among the presents, sparkly lights and festive food. Sounds cute and cuddly, right?

Nah, the aww's turn to argh's as those Santa claws and paws make with the slashing, smashing and thrashing. There's bashing and gnashing, too. Plus, plenty of crashing. And soon, the feline horde lays waste to the holiday in a holocaust of epic proportions.

Gifts are gnawed and pulled apart. Wrapping paper litters the carpet in sorry shreds. The tree topples, its broken branches trampled beneath little cat feet. It can happen, people! (Especially if you're breeding an army of cats for some reason.)

Now, wouldn't it be great if something could keep those beasts in line and curb their destructive tendencies? Temptations, the maker of delectable cat treats, believes it has the solution. Check out the video below, created by adam&eveDDB in London, for a tip on how to keep your yuletide purring along:

Like the commercial says, if you keep them busy, and "Treat them too," maybe, just maybe, the hellacious hairballs won't wreck the place.

"The internet is full of cats being cute and fluffy, but in reality cats are incredibly mischievous," client marketing director Denise Truelove tells AdFreak. "That tension led to something quite fun in this Temptations holiday video and campaign."

Staged with great energy and expert pacing by Sam Brown of Rogue Films, the holiday wonderland set took five days to build. Twenty-two cats and kittens trained for three weeks, and were filmed for three days tearing the set apart.

The cats' entrance and exit scenes proved complicated and time consuming, as the team had to create individual lanes of travel for each cat to take, says Truelove. Plus, "working with cats requires almost total silence and stillness on set while filming, so they don't get distracted," she says.

Damn shaggy divas! (Except for the freaky hairless one with the bulgy eyes, of course.)

Luckily, Brown had lots of experience setting up complex, challenging shoots. "He has this weird, incredibly cool aesthetic," says agency executive creative director Rick Brim, "and he gets humor without trying to overplay it too much."

Sure, 22 cats—that's not overplaying it at all.


Mars Petcare U.S.

Brand: Temptations

Project name: "Keep Them Busy"

Denise Truelove – Marketing Director

Arren Beach – Brand Manager

Agency: adam&eveDDB

Chief Creative Officer: Ben Priest

Executive Creative Directors: Ben Tollett, Richard Brim

Creative Team: Alex Lucas, Jon Farley

Agency Producer: Patrick Cahill

Planner: Jessica Lovell

Managing Partner: Fiona McArthur

Account Director: Jaimee Kerr

Interactive Partner: Simon Adamson

Social Media Strategist: Jessica Taylor

Media agency: MediaCom/Starcom U.S.

Production company: Rogue Films

Executive Producer: James Howland

Producer: Jess Wylie

Director: Sam Brown

Cinematographer: Alex Barber

D.O.P: Alex Barber

Editing Company: Final Cut

Editor: James Rosen

Post Production: The Mill

Post Producer: Tom Manton

VFX Supervisor: Jonathan Westley

Colourist: Seamus O'Kane

Music Supervisor: Tom Stanford

Audio Post Production: Factory

Soundtrack name and composer: "Deck The Halls," Smith & Western Music/Sydney 

@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.