Cats With Thumbs



They are cute, they are devious, and they are out to get your milk.

I have never heard of the Cravendale milk brand before – and that is understandable since I do not live in England. However, most of us know this brand now thanks to this hilarious campaign: “Cats With Thumbs” which ended up being on Adweek's top 10 best spots list in 2011. This campaign (which you can watch if you click the image above) features cats who develop thumbs and then proceed to plot evil schemes to get their paws into Cravendale’s Milk.

This campaign was well received and became quite popular with an impressive 8 million views on YouTube. The comments on the spot are all quite pawsitive as well:

This spot was so successful that it came back again in 2012 with a spot featuring cats with thumbs abducting milkmen and turning them into mindless minions.

Though the 2012 spot was also well received, it did not take off as much as the first did. I think there could be a few reasons for this, such as:

1) Sometimes sequels feel as though they were only created for the sake of capitalizing on the original idea


2) They fail to live up to the humor/creativity of the original


3) Maybe they have simply lost their element of unexpectedness

I cannot pinpoint my own reason for not particularly liking the sequel. However, I believe that if I had seen the 2nd ad first then I would have preferred it over the original.

Overall, the original spot was purrfect. It was unexpected, funny, and very cute. It was effective in the fact that I could easily recall the brand name despite never being exposed to this brand before in my life. The positive reviews, as well as the placement on 2011’s top spots list, tells me that I am not alone in thinking this.

I am left with one question: What makes a sequel to a commercial a success?

I hope that in the future I will be able to readdress this question and provide a thoughtful answer – but for now, I remain uncertain.

What do you think? Did you like the sequel? Do you fear the cat takeover? Can a sequel be good? Which cat was your favorite? (Mine was the nail filing one.)

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  vnikolae@nyit.edu | Vancouver, BC