VH-1 Co-Opts Singing Kitten Meme

You’ve probably seen these adorably amateurish animations featuring kittens lip-syncing White Stripes, Destiny’s Child and the Vines. Created by Rathergood.com’s Joel Veitch, the Flash animations started appearing on weblogs and discussion lists last August.

Well, someone at VH-1 just discovered it. In a short bumper promoting VH-1, the station co-opted the Flash meme for their own purposes. I created an animated GIF composed of six screen grabs from the commercial, which features two kitties and a chameleon performing Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon.”

This wouldn’t be the first time that TV stations borrowed web-based memes for commercial purposes (see: Dancing Baby), but this might be the most blatant rip-off. The commercial is in the same limited-motion Flash style as the original Flash animations and uses the same kitten images. I hope you got a royalty, Joel.

Update: Um, nevermind. Joel confirmed via e-mail that he created the animations for VH-1.

22 thoughts on “VH-1 Co-Opts Singing Kitten Meme

  1. The Irish Times (national daily newspaper here) ran a similar ad on TV and in cinemas last year, but with little dogs playing ‘Suspect Device’ by Stiff Little Fingers. I don’t know whether Joel was responsible or not.

  2. Yeah – I know that Joel’s been doing some work for various media operations in recent months. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he was paid to make them for VH1.

  3. there’s also one that uses the fischerspooner song “emerge” — i’m glad to hear it’s Joel Veitch’s own work, and not just a (smart) rip-off

  4. My first thought on seeing the ad — “they stole it” — but it was just too right , the kittens, the timing, everything.

    Anyway, congrats to Joel Veitch

  5. hey… so I know someone who saw one of these videos for a snoop dog song and I was wondering if any of you know how I could find it online, because I really want to see it… thanks.mina*

  6. Has anyone seen the NEW Vh1 kittens song? its techno-ee sounding, and I was wondering if anyone knew the name of the song.

  7. JoRaye—that’s Emerge by FischerSpooner—what I’d love is to check out the vid clip of the kittens lipsynching that song. Thought I’d find it at Joel’s site http://www.rathergood.com but no luck. Anyone know where I can view it online?

  8. hey, do any of you know the name for the techno song for the blode 1 cartoon?

    much love,

    caro

  9. The Blode 1 song is “Can’t Stop Raving” by Dune. I think there was a bit in the FAQ on the rathergood site about it.

  10. If anyone knows where i can get/dowload some/all of the VH1 Kitten’s songs PLEASE PLEASE e-mail the link! I Rememmber i was at Six Flags Great America when i saw “karma chameleon”

    [email protected]

  11. I have looked everywhere for the dancing kitten commercials to show my niece…no one has them. I know they used to be on you tube… I think the guy that created them is pissed about not getting enough money for them and removed them from everywhere they used to be. I tried e-mailing VH1 about it, but I couldn’t figure out how…nowhere on their site has an e-mail addy. I am a little upset….

  12. The videos do seem to be offline, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the guy who created them, Joel Veitch from Rathergood.com. He’s always been open with the distribution of his work… I suspect it’s because of the rights-holder of the commercials, VH-1. Joel doesn’t have the rights to distribute the VH-1 ads, and Viacom probably ordered them off of Youtube.

    That said, if you like the singing kitty commercials, you’ll probably like Joel’s other work on his site, where the singing kitty stuff originated.

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