Any advert with a feline presence is a beautiful sight, and it's about to get even better as ASDA are recruiting cats for a Christmas advert. Yep, the supermarket are totally gearing up to steal this holiday season from their competitors with the help of some purr-fect casting for the role of Mr Grumbles, as Pretty 52 reports.
The auditions began last Thursday (Sep. 5) in Harrowgate, lining the streets with a delightful queue of cats and their owners. "Auditions started earlier this week and our Creative Team have been inundated with talented moggies for the role of Mr Grumbles," the ASDA PR Team Twitter handle wrote in a post.
As WalesOnline notes, the role "is open to cats of all shapes and sizes", and owners can either bring their furry friends to casting calls or by submitting a photo through social media with the hashtag #MrGrumbles. Pretty 52 also notes that ASDA "says it is looking for a cat with personality, who can act both 'grumpy and sullen' and 'jubilant and joyous' at the flick of a switch'." That's a job for one talented cat.
"We want to make this Christmas the most extra special Christmas yet, so we're pulling out all stops to ensure we bring a little magic to screens, with the help of Mr Grumbles," ASDA's Vice President of Creative and Media Eilidh Macaskill said. According to WalesOnline, filming "will begin in mid-September" so if you happen to have a cat with the potential to be a famous animal actor, you haven't got much time left.
It's pretty cool that ASDA are giving the public a chance to let their pets shine, as the supermarket could have easily chosen an established cat actor for the role. Although, as animal trainer Melissa Millet told entertainment site A.V. Club while promoting the recent adaptation of Pet Sematary, any cat can be trained with the right approach.
"We wanted cats who were confident, and food motivated. Almost all cats can be trained, but those are the two main factors we look for. How much do they really want that treat? Bonus points if it's a cat that drives everybody nuts because it needs mental stimulation."
In the case of Pet Semetary, the cats cast where all rescues with no prior experience to acting. "We need the animals to be acclimated, and first that means working through all their insecurities from being rescues; not knowing what their lives were like prior," animal trainer Kirk Jarrett added. "[F]irst we have to give them the opportunity to smile, and explore, and build their confidence before we can even start training."
"Cats love to work, as long as they love food and have the confidence to do so," Millet told culture site Inverse. "They benefit from it just as much as dogs, even if it is little harder."
Whichever cat is deemed worthy enough for the role of Mr Grumbles in ASDA's case is going to have a pretty luxurious life ahead of them. As Pretty 52 notes, "previous Christmas ads have catapulted their lead characters to stardom, with cuddly toys and merchandise also being produced in their image."
So expect some Mr Grumbles merch in your stocking this year, because it's already a given that this cat will be the talk of the holidays.