If you're a fan of cats on the internet, you've probably seen it—the finest grocery store commercial ever to feature cart-pushing cats. And if that wasn't an official awards category before, it probably will be now.
Filmed for the German supermarket chain Netto, the bizarrely charming commercial strings together every famous Internet Cat Trope, from the Surprised Kitten to the NoNoNo Cat. It was an instant viral success, garnering over 8 million views to date.
The miniature grocery store - including over 1,000 individually labelled bottles of soda pop - was built in less than a week by production designer Ruta Kiskyte and her team.
Filming itself was complete in only three days. To anyone familiar with the feline preference for doing exactly what you don't want them to do, this is astonishing, perhaps even unbelievable. But director Brian Lee Hughes, a veteran of animal commercials (did you see the one for Subaru with the driving dogs?) says 99% of the footage is real, and post-production editing tricks were used only for the jaw of the NoNoNo Cat and the smile of the Grumpy Cat.
Toys and treats were used to direct the cats' attention and gaze, and natural talent did the rest. The fact that Hughes donned a cat costume for part of filming may also have had something to do with the stars' willingness to take direction.
And despite being tormented by allergies for most of filming, Hughes had great things to say about his performers. "The fat cat was the king of the film for me. He was all about his snacks and performed perfectly on the first take. Love that dude."
For more glimpses behind the scenes of the world's first cat grocery store, plus footage of the cats on set being treated like the A-list celebrities they have now become, check out this short making-of video.
What we're wondering now, though, is whether visiting a real Netto market is going to be a disappointment. Groceries are great, but where's the kitten aisle?