Caturday felid: synchronized skydiving cats

Okay, this video has gone viral, and elebenty gazillion readers have sent it to me. So how could I not post it?

The story comes from Gawker:

To promote the fact that they’re entirely customer-owned, Swedish insurance company Folksam has apparently started taking requests for ads from customers.

And, as anyone who has been around customers for a minute will tell you, customers are crazy.

Case in point: Eva. For her commercial, Eva, a cat lover, asked to see skydiving cats spelling out her name in the sky while R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” played in the background.

Being customer-owned, Folksam was forced to capitulate, and the commercial above is the end result.

What hath customer ownership wrought?

THIS!!!!:

Update note to readers: THIS VIDEO DOES NOT SHOW REAL CATS SKYDIVING. Apparently many ailurophiles have been upset by the video, charging animal cruelty. But it’s all special effects. See this explanation by CNN, and note that it does show video of one real skydiving cat:

h/t: Tina

22 Comments

  1. Posted November 17, 2012 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Nice

  2. gravelinspector
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    What hath customer-ownership wrought?
    Responsiveness to customer’s requests. Silly though they might be. And as an advert it’s extremely effective. I get my mortgage from a Building Society (owned by it’s customers and no-one else) ; my go-to place for household goods is an employee-owned company (as in, totally owned by the employees) ; if I could find one locally, I’d be using a customer- or employee-owned company.
    Waiting for the cries of “pinko communist” from the Americans ; to which the answer is “Yes. And so?”

    • Posted November 17, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Socialist. 😉

      • gravelinspector
        Posted November 17, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        And happy about it.

        • MrHeternormative
          Posted November 18, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink

          I would like to answer the “and so” question you posed.

          The pejorative of “pinko communist” is a hold-over from older days, where the evils and failure of communism was apparent and obvious to Americans. You didn’t need to explain the insult as it was apparent to all why is was an insult.

          Now, with the uneducated and brainwashed fools of the younger generation, fascism is coming back in style baby! In short, the support of this system marks you as a twisted monster, with the blood of millions on your hands, the sort of fury-fueled individual who’ll never learn a jot from human history.

          You’re probably also one of those who, with assuredly insufferable glee and pats themselves on the back for being a ‘rationalist’ or ‘realist’ or some-such noise. It’s all quite interesting really.

          • Posted November 18, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            Contrary to the words in their names, there was damned little actual socialism in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or in the German National Socialist Party.

            True democratic capitalist socialism is being practiced today in much of Europe, and the citizens of those countries are generally very pleased with the state of the affairs. And I can assure you, there are no mass murders, no jackbooted fascists, no monsters in sight.

            Short version? Just as all countries agree that the State should provide for common military protection, and as almost all civilized countries have always extended that further into the public sphere with fire protection and roads and food safety and the like, the modern Europeans believe that it is wise to put healthcare on the same stage as police and fire protection. There’s also a belief that it is better to provide a meaningful safety net to prevent poverty, and that the average worker should have ample free time to live — even if that means that those at the top only earn hundreds, rather than thousands, of times as much as the poorest.

            I’ll also note that it’s the anti-socialist US that has a military several times bigger than all the rest of the world combined; that is running an empire bent on conquering even central Asia; and that has recently denied its own citizens most of our most important civil liberties. Something to chew on.

            b&

            • gr8hands
              Posted November 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

              But, but, but… Obama! Don’t you GET it?! (and he’s blaaaaaack!)

              • Posted November 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

                Obama’s nowhere near that black. Indeed, he’s a lot closer to blk — maybe even just bk.

                Not that such realities mean much to the faith-based community, of course….

                b&

              • teacupoftheapocalypse
                Posted November 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

                Is he? And there’s me thinking he was just way more UV-tolerant than me.

    • bric
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Perhaps confusingly for Americans, the stores (and especially the supermarkets) of the employee-owned company are not Soviet-style hell holes but carry significant social cachet: definitely U

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted November 17, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        We’re not that easily confused. Employee- and consumer-owned businesses are fairly common in the US.

        Many towns have a local consumer-owned supermarket. Seattle-based outdoor gear retailer REI is the largest consumer cooperative in the US and does business worldwide. United Airlines was the largest employee-owned business in the world from 1994 to 2002.

        So it’s not a foreign concept here.

        • bric
          Posted November 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          Very pleased to hear that, how our views get skewed by the media!

  3. teacupoftheapocalypse
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    In Borneo, in the 1950’s an anti-malaria DDT spraying campaign was carried out. This involved ground-level spraying of villages, inside and outside of the long-houses and other buildings. One unfortunate consequence of this was that in some areas, the local cats would rub themselves against recently sprayed walls, as they do, and then lick the insecticide off their fur while grooming, thus succumbing to DDT poisoning and dying. There is some speculation that the cats also suffered from DDT poisoning through bio-magnification through a food chain, although this remains unproven.

    One subsequent effect of the demise of the cats was a significant increase in local rat populations, resulting in numbers of rats entering houses, which raised concerns of rodent-related diseases such as typhus and the plague.

    The solution in, one remote village, was to round up a couple of dozen stray cats in a coastal town, which the Royal Air Force delivered by parachute ina specially-made container.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      I would assume they wouldn’t get away with that cruel delivery method today.

      But from this we learn two things:

      – Ceiling Cat isn’t helping out.

      – Catlicks are dangerous.

  4. Matt G
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    No felids were harmed in the filming of this video….

  5. Posted November 17, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Did they really drop cats from an airplane? (Presumably fitted with automatically-opening parachutes?) Wouldn’t the poor things be terrified?

  6. HaggisForBrains
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Totally brilliant! I assume the cat landed on its feet. I’d buy my insurance from that company.

  7. Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    To all those worried about the cats…I can guarantee you that this is all special effects, and probably entirely green screen compositing.

    b&

    • Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Ah — I see that Jerry has an update and that I was right about the green screen.

      b&

    • Matt G
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Yes, cat technology is pretty advanced, the landing-on-their-feet algorithm being their best known.

  8. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Obviously CGI (Cat-Generated Imagery) has advanced with leaps and bounds in the last few years.

  9. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted November 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I had to watch an ad before I could watch the ad.

    Thanks for the soundtrack warning, though; I was able to safely mute it before that treacle got stuck in my brain.


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