The low-budget video called “Kitty Kommercial” is the brainchild of Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelters – the biggest animal rescue organization and no-kill shelter in Georgia – and has received over 2.6 million views as of Friday afternoon since being uploaded on YouTube on Christmas eve.
“This thing has taken off and it’s just so heartwarming,” says Samantha Shelton, founder and CEO of the shelter. “It’s hard to express the excitement we all feel – all of us that are involved with Furkids.”
The idea to do the commercial came from shelter volunteer Helen Preston and the purr-fect concept was cooked up by her brother Paul Preston, who also plays the part of the used car salesman-esque character in the video.
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It shows Paul introducing the cats to the viewers as a sales pitch in an infomercial format.
“Do you like black cats?” he asks the viewers while pointing to a pair of black kittens. “We got the blackest cats you’ve ever seen. It’s like midnight inside a coffin over here.”
The humour continues right up until the end when the video spoofs Sarah McLachlan’s well-known TV ads for the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (the ones that are filmed to her tune In the Arms of An Angel).
The paws-itive commercial was filmed in October and took only a half hour to shoot. There was no script and everything was improvised by Paul on the spot, Shelton says.
When the video was first uploaded it had only garnered a few hundred hits. But since being posted on Reddit Wednesday, the video’s popularity has skyrocketed.
“I knew it was going to be good when the start of the video had someone imitating the inflatable wacky arm waving guy!” Reddit user IolaBoylen wrote.
“Coming on Reddit to start the day without finding out a country had a natural disaster or some sort of governmental problem or terrorist attack and instead getting an adorable video – it’s going to be a good day,” says hometowngypsy.
As a result of the video, Shelton says she’s received an influx of donations from around the country, as well as adoption applications and inquiries from people interested in volunteering for the shelter.
Shelton says the team is gearing up for another commercial, this time promoting the shelter’s dogs who are looking for a home, and will begin production in two weeks.