Still one of the best advertisements ever made

I was happily reminded, via Earthbound Misfit, of the famous “herding cats” commercial filmed for Electronic Data Systems (EDS).  It was first broadcast during the 2000 Super Bowl championship game.  According to AdAge:

Richard Brown … and ad veteran Don Uzzi … determined that they would make EDS famous with a Super Bowl ad. Fallon McElligott, which had picked up the account from Bates Worldwide the prior May with an explicit assignment to reinvigorate the brand, decided to play on the expression “herding cats,” the managerial metaphor for the difficulty of aligning team members’ efforts.

“It was an expression that was instantly visual,” Fallon art director Dean Hanson recalled for the Washington Post later. But it didn’t make for an easy shoot. The production crew filmed the cowboys on their horses at Tehon Ranch north of California, then recorded the cats separately at the same site and combined the footage later. To create imagery of cats storming the American plains, 20 to 30 trainers used a buzzer as a prod and tuna as a lure.

There’s more at the link.

Here’s the commercial.

It was so popular and well received that EDS made a sequel for the following year’s Super Bowl:  “Running of the Squirrels”.

Is it just me, or have advertisers become less creative in recent times?  I’ve seen nothing to match the humor and creativity of those two classics, IMHO.



  1. DJ, makes sense, considering the translations of Carmina Burana. Definitely NSCM (Not Safe for Church Music.)

  2. For those of you too young to remember EDS was founded by Ross Perot.
    His response to plite of his employees in Iran during the hostage incident is recorded in
    on Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett.
    Loyalty goes down the chan of command as well as up the chain of command.
    Ross Perot's picture is right next to the definition of American Cowboy.
    And, yeah, he built that.

  3. I loved this commercial when it came out, but it has always amazed me how many people have not heard the expression of "herding cats".

  4. Back in the '90s I was the chairman of a technical review committee approving start-up test procedures for a new facility. We had representatives from design, operation, quality assurance, and safety. I always referred to my job as "heading cats." Maybe I should have trade-marked that expression (snerk).

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