Love Knows No Bounds for Budgie and Cat in Charming British Spot

Freeview ad inspired by free entertainment of pets playing

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.

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