The Year’s Best Ad You Haven’t Seen: PlayStation’s Weird, Wonderful ‘Gravity Cat’

Hakuhodo turns awards season upside down

The actresses rehearsing for the challenging shoot
Headshot of Tim Nudd

With advertising awards season in full swing, we’re getting to catch up on some great ads we didn’t cover over the past year. And none are racking up the trophies quite like the weirdly amazing “Gravity Cat” spot for PlayStation Japan.

Created by Tokyo agency Hakuhodo and production company Tohokushinsha Film Corp., the four-minute film features two sisters trying to capture a gravity-defying kitten as the world inside their apartment very literally turns upside down. It was released in January to promote the video game Gravity Rush 2 (called Gravity Daze 2 in Japan).

As you can see in the making-of video below, aside from the flying sequence at the end, the spot was shot mostly in camera, thanks to an impressive rig that actually rotated the apartment in a full circle. The BTS footage also shows how difficult this job was for the actresses, who not only had to deal with all sorts of physical challenges—but had to do so opposite an actual cat.

The spot won a Gold Pencil at The One Show, and also won the top prize in two categories—Branded Entertainment and Film—at New York Festivals. It was surely be among the favorites in Film, Film Craft and Lions Entertainment at Cannes later this month.

Client: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Hakuhodo Inc., Tokyo
Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, Tokyo
Creative Director: Yuta Okuyama
Designer: Yukiko Kuribayashi
Production Companies:
Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, Tokyo
Active Cine Club, Tokyo
Iemoto, Tokyo
Deffence, Tokyo
Yuge Inc., Tokyo
Omnibus Japan Inc., Tokyo
Cutters Tokyo, Tokyo
Nouvelle Vague, Tokyo
Director: Show Yanagisawa
Producer: Takashi Aso, Tatsuya Sunohara, Hisamichi Kido, Chu Ikebe
Cinematographer: Ryoken Okamura
Creative Team: Yusuke Amagai, Yuki Yokoi, Keita Togawa, Masumi Nishibori
Design Firm: The Directors Guild, Tokyo
Digital Artist/Multimedia: Tetsuaki Matsumoto
Editor: Etsuko Kimura, Hanako Tabata, Kenichi Sasaki
Lighting Design: Atsutoshi Ueno
Music & Sound: Kazuyoshi Tonami
Product Manager: Takuya Omura
Sound Designer: Erito Ayaki

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.