My YouTube ad of the week: James Hilton, AKQA

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James Hilton reviews Friskies


James Hilton, chief creative officer, AKQA

Why I like this

For the record, there is nothing in life so sure to drive me into a frothing rage as an ad for cat food, though a printer jam comes a close second. But let the record also show that there’s nothing so refreshing in life as having your preconceptions upturned by some clever thinking.

So I present you Exhibit A: an advertisement for Friskies.

I started watching this with a heavy dose of muttering – I now consider myself a professional at grumpy-old-git muttering. I watched the slow-motion folds and globs of saliva with barely concealed repulsion. "That," I thought, "is truly unpleasant."

And as the progress bar ate up its last seconds, I felt as I’m sure Kate Winslet did in Titanic, arms out, wind blowing through her hair. Except in my head she’s readying herself to yell out: ‘See! I bloody knew it would be shit!"

But – and here’s the bit I wasn’t expecting – at the final moment it suddenly wasn’t shit. It was brilliant. Refreshing. I laughed. I shared. And Kate-in-my-head threw out her arms and shouted: "See! That’s what they should all bloody be like!"
Kate Winslet. Says it all really. I rest my case.

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Promote the Friskies cat food brand by showing the drawback of owning a dog.


A large, jowly, hound is pictured in close-up and filmed in slow motion as it moves his head from side to side releasing globules of saliva and slobber.


JWT Johannesburg.

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