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.