Walter the cat becomes the unofficial mascot of the Olympics

Walter the cat sitting on the lawn
(Image credit: Chevrolet/YouTube)

While all eyes were meant to be on our sporting greats this Olympics season, Walter the cat is giving the world’s athletic elite a run for their money with his cute antics in the new Chevy Silverado ad.

Proving that cats are just as capable as dogs, Walter chases cats up trees, herds cattle, and even goes off in search of firewood.

And while Walter’s antics are hilarious, perhaps the most priceless part of the whole commercial is the conversation that takes place between his owner and another angler next to the Chevy Silverado after the pair observe Walter diving off the pier into the water to go fetch a stick:

Angler: That is incredible.

Owner: I know, right? It's a multi-flex tailgate. It can be a step, you can extend the bed, it can even become a workspace.

Angler: I meant the cat.

Owner: What's so great about him? He doesn't have a workspace—he's a cat.

Commonwealth/McCann North America creative lead Gary Pascoe explains that the inspiration for Walter the cat came about because the team wanted to do something different that would set their commercial apart from all the rest.

"There are certain ingredients in a lot of truck commercials: a man, a truck and a dog. We wanted to disrupt that formula. The Chevy Multi-Flex Tailgate is a surprising truck feature, so we wanted to dramatize that by doing something surprising as well."

The Chevy Silverado ad featuring Walter the cat is one of three the company is running throughout NBC’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympics and while they’re all proving popular, the one starring Walter is clearly the jewel in Chevrolet's crown this year.

"We knew a lot of advertisers were going to feature athletes doing incredible things, and we wanted to stand out," Pascoe says. "So, Walter the cat became our athlete."

The 60 second ad was shot on a ranch in Utah and featured nine trained lookalike tabby cats who took turns playing Walter and Pasco admits they received the sort of treatment worthy of an Olympic athlete.

"The cats had their own air-conditioned trailer on set, the agency creative team did not," Pasco says. "Each cat had a specific unique ability: jumping into a truck, busting through a door, coming out of water. The real cats performed so well, we ended up using very little CGI."

Kathryn Rosenberg
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past three years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with a very mischievous Cocker Spaniel and a super sassy cat, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.