Despite spending two years mixing in bars and nightclubs, the feline star of the Breezer ads has never been seen taking so much as a sip of the product, sidestepping any concerns over animal welfare. In the latest spot, however, the cat is reduced to slumping, exhausted on the sofa, not unlike a drinker with a raging hangover.
The ad reintroduces the cat's elderly female owner who appeared in the campaign's first spot. On this occasion she calls in an attractive female vet who finds a lipstick mark on the creature's paw. Vet and cat exchange knowing glances as the owner asks if the mark was left by "a fox". The 30-second TV ad breaks on Monday across terrestrial and satellite stations.
Chris Sutcliffe, the strategic planning director at Universal McCann, which planned and bought the campaign, said: "We use qualitative research to screen out programmes that would be inconsistent with the brand values. We literally go through every spot on the schedule week by week."
The tomcat campaign has traditionally used a wide range of media and PR activity to back up the TV ads, with the animal appearing in The Sun and hosting Maxim's Women of the Year Awards.
Point-of-sale activity will continue to support the TV work through the Vivid nightclub evenings around the UK and Ibiza.
The ad was written by Martyn Smith, art directed by Mark Hurst and directed by Who? through Great Guns.