Ford SportKa Deals With Cat and Pigeon

The Ford SportKa found fame in 2003 with the inadvertent release of two shocking ads: Pigeon and Cat. Ogilvy & Mather creatives worked with the concept of the SportKa being the Ford Ka’s evil twin. The Ka, released in 1996, was perceived as being a humble economical car. The SportKa needed to attract the maverick market. And so was born the plot that would infuriate animal rights groups across the world.

Ford Sportka Bird TV Ad

Sportka Pigeon

‘Pigeon’ featured a pigeon in the foreground flying down to sit on the bonnet of a black Ford Sportka. Before it get a chance to roost the bonnet flies up and catapults the bird through the air. Feathers float through the air and the pigeon lands on the ground, inert. The spot was shown on UK Television but not for long. Pigeon lovers wasted no time in protesting.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

Sportka Cat

‘Cat’ was never shown on television but travelled the world as an inadvertently released viral advert. The ad shows a ginger shorthair cat jumping onto the roof of a black Ford Sportka to investigate the newly opened sunroof. Will it jump in? To our horror the sunroof closes in on the neck of the struggling a cat. Eventually the head falls off and the body of the cat slumps down the side of the car, out of view. There’s no voice over. Just the words: Ford SportKa – The Ka’s Evil Twin. www.the-eviltwin.co.uk.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

Both Ford and Ogilvy & Mather released apologies for the release of the cat advertisement. Ford claimed not to have known the spot had even been made. Ogilvy said that it would investigate how the ad came to be released on to the internet. Viewers were assured that no animals were harmed as the ads were made with computer generated visual effects. I notice that no credits have ever been posted for the spots. We will probably never know who the creative director or director of photography was…

Ford Sportka Cat TV Ad

The Evil Twin microsite is no longer running. But the ads continue to be seen on unofficial sites. Snopes ran a story on the ads and provided links (half of which no longer work).

‘Pigeon’ was directed by Henry Littlechild for The Viral Factory, now at Outsider Films, with art director Agnieszka Debska and director of photography Dewald Aukema.

  • Francesca

    Sounds really sick – glad I haven’t seen them

  • Anonymous

    love your site thanks….what do think of the twisties ad?

  • jacqui

    that add was so disgusting (the poor cat)…….pidgeon was funny though….

  • jimfromtx

    I like the pigeon one, the car acted in self defense! I mean, what do birds do to cars?! But, yeah, the cat one is pretty sick…

  • Derek Stuart Lamming

    I thought the cat one was brilliant, the pigeon one was ok.
    You must of realised it was going to course offence to animal lovers though
    if walls sosages can cause an out cry, and that was ment as a comic strip, then you crossed the line, of decent advert viewing a little bit this time LOL
    Thank god you didn’t do one with a hedge hog crossing the road. only three wheelers are allowed to run hedge hogs over in the middle of the lights LOL

  • liam tomlinson

    they were both hilarious

  • Sooty

    Personally, I find both ads hilarious. The TV is full of far more cruel advertisements, maskarading as something ‘sweet’. For example, we accept the armed forces advertising on the TV, for recruiting people to send them to die, or kill other people. I think it’s very hypocritic to protest for those two ads which, at the end of the day, are totally fictional and don’t represent any real capabilities of the car. I’m sure there’s far more kids dreaming of shooting ‘terrorists’, rather than having a car that chops cats’ heads off.

    Still, the one with the cat is probably not for the fainthearted.

  • Jenn

    I just saw the cat commercial on myspace. There was no warning, it’s description was simply “animal” and it was titled “cat.” The commercial was so unbelievably realistic and disturbing. I feel like charges should be brought against the company. I find it repulsive and morally reprehensible. And no, it isn’t that I don’t have a good sense of humor–it is simply that these are the types of things that spark ideas from sick individuals who would actually go out and “test” the theory to see if it would work. Where do we draw the line? Many violent individuals get their ideas from media and film–and we all know that the worst kind of disturbed individuals who go on to become serious criminals statistically start their criminal actions by torturing animals. I strongly feel that there should be some kind of legal backlash to keep this type of information out of the hands of the public. This company should have to do more than simply “apologize.”

  • Gorf

    spare your moral outrage Jenn, no-one cares. if you have a problem with anyone it should be the operator of the myspace site. how many times have we seen human decapitations on film without any public reaction? somehow people are more offended when it’s a computerised cat being despatched by a crappy american car.

    • Gary

      Yeah, well I for one prefer seeing people get hurt over animals.

  • Nicole

    Just purchased my new sportka and decided to look for info about it and came along your website. The pigeon advert is hilarious but the cat one is disturbing, I know it’s not real but I am a cat lover!

  • G

    Any person who thinks these advertisements are funny is lower than pond scum, no lower than pond scum and sub-human. I hope the makers of these hideous videos are reincarnated as pigeons and cats. And someone makes a video out of them being murdered. Even if this is just a mock-up, it still gives sicko’s ideas.

  • Al

    I found both ads to be wickedly funny. What people must understand is the humour is context sensitive. What’s funny to one person may not be funny to someone else who has been affected by the truth in the humour. If you grew up with the concept that to desecrate the image of Mohammad is unforgivable blasphemy, you wouldn’t feel at home with some comics vilifying your divine belief. Likewise, if you once had a cat that was tortured by some f**ked in the head kids, you wouldn’t feel too good about the cat ad. To anyone with a well rounded view of the world, both ads are completely harmless as these are blatant jokes on situations no right-minded individual would ever commit to. Wouldn’t show it to an under 12 year old though…!

  • Kevin J.

    I loved these ads and would have bought a SportKa because of them! You people who complain about how disturbing these cgi commercials are really make me laugh at just how pathetic you are. When I first saw these spots i knew straight off that they were not real. Now while I agree that they should not be shown to children until they better understand what they are actually looking at, you who are supposedly older and wiser than the children sure don’t act like it. Finding this disturbing is one thing, but to actually want to sue/prosecute people for something that DIDN’T HAPPEN is just plain ludicrous, not to mention stupid. You saw the ad, you didn’t like it, move on and don’t look at it again! You do have at least the mental capacity to recognize the opening seconds of the spots, you would have to so that you could show it to your lawyer so you could sue “to protect other people” while you pocket the money that the lawsuit “wasn’t about”,should instead do this: Stay away from the link, never click it again. if someone else does it, you can forewarn them and let them make the choice! If you can’t deal with a bit of fiction I shudder to think how you deal with reality. Oh yeah, you sue so that the lawyer will make the bad world go away and you hopefully get a few million dollars in the process. What a sad lot you are.

  • bob

    So just to put the debate to rest: the motorized sunroof on the Sportka is not powerful enough to sever a cat’s head. My neighbor’s cat Sammy didn’t enjoy the experiment, to be sure, but he survived with no permanent injury that I could discern. If I can work out the logistics, I hope to test the pigeon ad next, and will post my findings here.

    • bibby

      wait what?

  • Sheena

    My brother sent these to me about the time they were released, I lost them due to computer problems and have been looking for them. I am a cat lover, yet I was able to see the humor in both of the ads. People should lighten up, there are alot worse things out there than (slightly untasteful;->) jokes.

  • dbag

    I think both ads are funny. I would like to see more like it.

  • DJC

    IAM sorry but thats the funniest stuff ive ever seen,bizzar but great,you should do more,

  • Dan

    To those morally outraged-
    Please get a sense of humor. Not only are these advertisements funny for what seems to be the majority of people (it’s slapstick comedy), the cat one wasn’t broadcast on television anyways. Besides, if you don’t like it, why not just ignore it? You don’t have much of a right to castrate the media that I enjoy, especially when it’s relatively harmless compared to the majority of public broadcasting. By your logic, I ought to start crusading against gay porn because I, a straight male, don’t like the idea of anyone on the planet watching two men suck each other’s cocks.

  • Julius

    For people who don’t like having cat footprints and sometimes scratches on their cars and trucks, the cat video is hilarious.
    Both ads are great and since no animals were harmed, well I guess no harm done. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.
    When you watch a Hollywood movie in which there is a murder, do you call the police to report it?

  • Paul

    With all due respect to all preceding comments: Firstly, I am the proud owner of two cats and happen to know that even though they are lazy they are quick enough to get their heads out of that situation anytime.
    Second, as a safety procedure, electric sunroofs and windows are never ever powerful enough to do something like that unless the car company wants to risk a serious lawsuit. I found both ads totally piss-funny and the cat one more so, and I also was smart enough to realise as soon as I saw it happen that IT ISN’T REAL…… To the ad people: MORE PLEASE

  • Chris

    I love these two adverts, there is absolutly nothing wrong with them.
    The pidgon one was funny, the Cat one was unexpected, but all the more funny, and the Ford SportKa was a hard F****r!
    Wish they wern’t banned, though!
    (It’s always the best ad’s on T.V that get banned!)
    Oh, how I yearn for more…

  • kayakjim

    bob; how’s your testing coming along???

    The pigeon one was funny, though the cat I literally fell out of my chair laughing so hard!! Lighten up, people!!
    No wonder the world is so bloody stressed out! I hope the PETA folks puke on their bile-filed tirades.

  • Glenn

    The cat, and the pidgeon, are both hilarious. I wish they could show them on TV. I would like to see more of the same. It extracts a certain levity within our humerous nature, and plays upon the unexpected emotions of being part of something different.

    Hail evil-twins uk………….

  • deadthevideo

    I actually like both of these ads. The admakers combined real animals in the ads with fake ones. I would say that they used trickery to get the animals to do what was required of them to get the right effect. The cat ad did get some press coverage with articles about the advert appearing in national newspapers. In a country (UK) where advertising is supposed to be the best but is governed by authoritarian guidelines the average ad break would serve to argue against that particular belief, it is good to see that Ogilvy and Mather were prepared to go against those rules. Of course, ads like these would get their moaners, people who believe our no-particularly-great ad breaks should stay that way, but that would be expected, they even complained about a toilet roll ad featuring naked backsides. Some people may not like it, look at the fuss generated by a Wrigley’s ad showing a man throwing up a dog, but we should have more daring ads on air, even if it is after the UK watershed.

  • Jay

    I thought they were shockingly funny… Surely No one wants to harm an animal. But how many of You Animal Rights Whiners whine about things that “Appear” in likeness?

    Do you have any idea how many frogs you squash on the roads after it rains? What About Worms? have you Recorded how many monrach Butterflies YOU kill On your average Commute on a rural route?

    What About Catepillars?

    Yeah It seems to me you only bitch when it’s “in your face” or if it’s Fuzzy and Cute….

  • Keith Sketchley

    Clever, but why would an ad agency – let alone a car company – label its product as “evil”.
    Marketing people are so dumb so often!

  • hi

    I HATE THE PIGEON ONE so tight and scary

    but the cat one is funny, however its clear that both were computer made, the pigeon isn’t that convincing, and the cat, well, i didn’t see any blood!!! mwhahahaha

  • Deeya

    @ Keith Sketchley
    Read the article through first. The car is a face lifted model of the Ford Ka, known for its sweet and humble appearance. In order to target a more ‘maverick’ clientele, they’ve marketed the Sportka as its evil twin, thus explaining the horrific things it’s doing to animals. Funny ad though, I really cracked up during both commercials. These ads are considered shock advertising, they’re meant to catch the viewers attention by any means necessary, which with all the controversy surrounding it, makes it successful. In the pigeon ad, the car was probably just defending itself, but as for the cat, that’s just plain evil and funny.

  • c

    @ bob : next time try it with your own head
    the ad might be funny for some people ( which I don’t mind at all, I don’t decide what you think is funny or not ) but the two problems are:
    1) the cat and the pigeon might be fake and MOST people know that, but the makers of this ad have to think about what the majority will think of their ad, and I think the majority likes animals ( well most people I know anyway )
    2) it gives great ideas to idiots like bob . The ad gave him the idea to actually test it with a cat. What if it would of done harm to the cat? Next time he should test it with his own head.

  • Eva

    I found this absolutley horrid and disgusting

    I know it is fake, but its disturbing to view. And the people that comment saying it is funnier, just makes me so confused. I KNOW ITS FAKE, but it definetly is not something funny to me. Its disgusting, how could they even come up with such a horrible commercial?

    And to people who reply with, oh just lighten up or there are way worse ads promoting drugs, alcohol and nudity. Well this in my personal view, is waaay worse; because obviously the animals are the victims as they can’t speak, so its not okay to find something this revolting humourous

    ANYONE THAT LAUGHED AT EITHER ONE OF THE ADS, IS SERIOUSLY DISTURBED AND DISGUSTING. I FIND IT HARD PEOPLE FIND IT FUNNY, ITS DISGRACEFUL.

  • Keith Sketchley

    “Deeya”, you regurgitated what the article said instead of answering my question. Why waste your breath?

    Why would anyone human want to be known as “evil”? Adolph Hitler, Ghadafi, et al not being human.