Camouflage advertising

Ads that don't feel like ads.

The first goal of an ad is to gain and keep the audience’s full attention long enough to deliver a message. The problem is that consumers are so fed up with being bombarded with ads that they just tune the majority of them out. So how can your ads sneak past the steadfast gate-keeper of the consumer mind?

In 2014, Buzzfeed released a video for Friskies cat food called "Dear Kitten". The video in which a sage old cat gives advice to a new kitten, went viral on YouTube in just 4 days, generating over 5 million views. The ad doesn't feel at all like an ad. The narrative, voiced by Buzzfeed's wonderfully crazy Executive Vice President, Ze Frank, is quite entertaining and comedic in tone. It feels more like a short story than an ad which is why it's so easy to watch.

The commercial begins with “Dear Kitten: Since I have hissed at you the customary 437 times, it is now my duty as the head of the household to — begrudgingly — welcome you,” says the older cat.

They've since made several more equally lovable "Dear kitten" videos but this was the first.


Fans of the video took to Twitter to express their love for the commercial stating “If all ads were this good, maybe we wouldn’t fast-forward them.” Comments on YouTube were equally impressive.

“I laughed, I cried, I wanted to run to the shelter and adopt… the single best commercial I can remember.”

"I'm loathed to give advertisers any kind of incentive. But these ads are an absolute delight. I really. Really like them. The writing. The short story. The characters (of course I mean the Felines) The whole darn production. These Friskies ads are some of the best I've seen in a very, very long time. 👍👌🐱"

"I'm a dog person but this really makes me want to get a cat."

Although these ads are clearly aimed at cat owners, they also appeal to animal lovers everywhere. It has personality and the cuteness abounds! The video also never stops making us laughter out loud with cat-isms.

I'll have to test the efficiency of the invisibility curtains. It may come in handy one day.

What are you doing to make your ads seem more like a story and less like an ad?

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner

Morty SilberComment