Mars-owned pet food brand Whiskas has made a moving film about a young autistic girl whose pet cat was the first therapy that finally got through to her.
The brand centers the online film around Iris Grace Halmshaw, a young British girl who has severe autism and is also a talented artist whose impressionist-style paintings sell around the world. (Her relationship with the Maine Coon cat, Thula, has already been chronicled in the press and will be the subject of an upcoming book by her mother).
The film delicately explains how Thula's curiosity about the child forged a bond between the two after previous therapies failed. We see the moment Thula takes an interest in the child, and how the cat now goes to the playground and even swimming with Iris.
Brazilian agency Almap BBDO created the film as the first of a series based on real stories about curious cats chosen for Whiskas. Cat owners are being encouraged to share their own stories of curious cats with the hashtags #mycatwhiskas and #mycuriouscat, with the possibility of their being chosen to be the next Whiskas story.
Claudio Borrelli directed the story, via production company Killers. It's being promoted online in Europe, South America and Russia.