Monday, May 10, 2010

Friskies won't get out of my brain, and I like it!

I have a new obsession:

You think I'm crazy? Well, I do too. The first time I saw this commercial, I had a thoroughly "WTF?!" reaction. "This crap is ridiculous!" I told myself. But then I realized this is exactly what is going on in my cat's mind every time I open a can of food* for him. (*The fact that he is a Fancy Feast snob who wouldn't touch Friskies is irrelevant.)

Yes, cartoon turkeys, cows and flying fish dance, frolick and glide through his brain. (At least, he sure acts like it.)

I can't get the song out of my head. And you know what, I really don't care because I love it so much! Friskies, what have you done to me?

Here is the transcript (confession - I am transcribing it because it gives me an excuse to watch the commercial one more time):

What if one little pop could open a world of wonder?
So sensory. So satisfying.
The discover never seems to stop.
A journey to delicious and beyond.
Exciting your cat day and night with endless enchantment.
It's the magic Friskies makes happen every day, in so many ways.
Friskies: Feed the senses.

Update: Seth Stevenson at Slate covered this commercial in "Advertising Deconstructed":

I asked Friskies marketing director Susan Schlueter to explain. What followed was a fascinating glimpse into the world of feline feeding rituals. (Perhaps you knew this stuff already. As I lack a cat, or any experience tending cats, it was new to me.) Apparently, dry food is left out all day for cats to nosh on. Kitty will take a few desultory nibbles, but then go back to chasing dust motes or clawing at upholstery—leaving the remainder of the desiccated food in the bowl for later. By contrast, wet food is a once- or maybe twice-a-day treat. When that can of wet food peels open, kitty hops up onto the countertop and eagerly slurps until she reaches the final drop of yummy slop.

"Feeding wet," as Schlueter calls it, can for some owners be a highly ritualized and intimate pet interaction. The pop of the can primes kitty for excitement. The scents that escape set feline nostrils aflutter. This is a time for cats and owners to bond over a heap of moist, processed meat. And, according to Schlueter, many owners like to imagine what their cats are feeling and thinking during these moments of culinary ecstasy. This trippy ad, which is for wet food, is meant to capture the altered consciousness of the cat—the sensually heightened bliss it derives from chewing on a pile of damp Friskies.

So so true. The marketing team at Friskies knows me and my cat so well.

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