Purina Healthful Life: Please Don’t Eat the Cat

Today’s ad features the image of a woman in a garden who appears to be about to kill and eat a cat. The cat looks scared. He knows what’s about to happen. His eyes are pleading: I trusted you. Please don’t eat me.

The headline explains:

Yes, Healthy Can Be Delicious.

The design of the package and the illustration of veggies, meat, and cheese reenforce the idea that this is people food.

Purina’s attempt to blur the line between cat food and food for humans backfires spectacularly.

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2 responses to “Purina Healthful Life: Please Don’t Eat the Cat

  1. “A woman in a garden who appears to be about to kill and eat a cat.” Huh? You’ve posted before about your kinship with dogs, but as a cat owner, I can tell you that this photo exudes an owner’s love of her cat and nothing more. The cat does not look “scared.” The raised paw and tail suggest total submission to the woman’s affectionate gesture — as if a great meal awaits.

    As for the idea that pet food is being sold as people food, well, I think it’s smart marketing. When cats can saunter into grocery stores, whip out a debit card and buy their own food, I’ll agree that the marketing strategy should change.

  2. Whether it’s smart marketing remains to be seen. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that within 18 months, this product will either be discontinued or Purina will have redesigned the packaging.