How do you engage viewers in a generic car commercial these days (particularly if you're not creating a celeb-heavy ad for, say, the Super Bowl?) One answer: add an adorable cat.
A new spot from Lexus for its NX hybrid model does just that, with a simple but charming piece of storytelling. The fluffy feline in question jumps into the Lexus' open window one balmy evening (clearly, the owner isn't too hot on security) and makes itself at home. While the owner turfs the creature out the first time, when it comes back again and again, he becomes fond of it, turning on the seat warmer for it and bringing it food, even taking it out on drives.
Eventually -- in what could have been a cruel twist of fate -- we see the owner approaching the car with his pet dog on a leash. However, thankfully it's not curtains for the cat; he's come to put a collar on the animal and adopt it as his own.
The spot, from The&Partnership Japan, is one of a pair of new commercials directed by Great Guns' Bruce St Clair. In the other, the car acts as a magnet for all kinds of objects denoting outdoorsy activities (like bikes and kayaks) which float surreally through the air.
We're told the production team had only three days to shoot both spots, and had to navigate the challenges of working with the cat as well as achieving the look of the floating objects (which was done with green screen, filming the objects with a crane to add perspective change as the camera tracks past them.)
“I was sold the moment I read the script for this campaign,” commented St Clair in a statement. “With animals it’s 90% luck - in particular with cats because they’re so unpredictable - but we were very lucky to have chosen a chilled one!”