The Guardian's 'Hard Sell' takes on our Cravendale campaign. I think they like it. But I'm not sure.
Traditionally, adverts are meant to make you want to buy the product they're advertising. They're supposed to be aspirational, or funny, or memorable, or just feature a long, drawn-out romance between a couple that couldn't have kept their love alive or overcome the bumps in the romance road without the help of a company that offers both telephone and internet services. But not since the 90s, when alcopop Metz introduced the dream-haunting Judderman (don't YouTube it before bed) has a TV advert made me feel so uncomfortable as the Cravendale Cats With Thumbs.
The 41 seconds of terror begin deceptively quietly, when the question is posed: "Why do cats always stare when you're pouring milk"? Apparently it's because they're plotting. They know it's only a matter of time until they grow thumbs (the crunchy squelchy sound of a sprouting cat thumb will haunt you at 4.35am, when you wake up sweating and shaking as your own moggy scratches at the door). Cravendale wants us to know that when cats have opposable digits, they'll be reading books (on WAR – SIGNIFICANT!!!), sewing, and forming 1960s West Side Story-style gangs, only with worse singing voices. Cats can already see things we can't; what makes you think forming an army to reclaim the world's milk isn't the next step? The irony, of course, is that adult cats are lactose intolerant and shouldn't drink milk. Which means that any act of war over dairy products is just spiteful. The ad closes with the futile words "Jog on, kitty." But it's no use. It's a stark warning of a worrying future when felines rule the planet and humans are left with the worst thing of all: soy milk.