Lights, camera, action…The Great Pet debate…a Firefly production

Lights, camera, action…The Great Pet debate…a Firefly production

Charlotte Stoel

Charlotte Stoel

[In the voice of Don LaFontaine] This summer, Firefly presents the production… “YummyPets: Are we a nation of cat lovers of dog lovers?”

In this radio event, which was two months in the making, reality TV stars Amy Childs from The Only Way is Essex and Gabriella Ellis from Made in Chelsea battled it out to discover which pet should be crowned the nation’s favourite...

The winner? Before we tell you, here is how this little production came about.

The challenge set by the producers (aka: our client, YummyPets)

YummyPets, a social network for pet owners, was launched by Firefly in the UK in May 2013. Following its arrival to British waters, Firefly was tasked with coming up with a way of increasing UK YummyPets members.

The story formulated by the Director (aka: the Firefly team)

Home of all our favourite social animals, Yummypets is perfectly placed to answer the question…

Great Britain, which are we: a nation of cat lovers or dog lovers?

It’s a question that divides opinion and reveals a lot about your personality. The kittens, we mean mittens, were off – as cat-lovers and dog-lovers tried to get one up on each other and decide which animal ultimately unites the United Kingdom. The poll was opened for one month to everyone – dog-lovers, cat-lovers, those who struggled to make up their mind – and at the end of the month, the victor was announced.

The set (aka: the media stage)

We hosted our debate on the UK’s radio airwaves. With 90% of the UK population listening to the radio regularly (according to RAJAR), it was the obvious place to kick-off this important discussion.

The cast

Everyone in the UK was invited to vote and be part of the story. To get the voting started, Firefly recruited team captains and who better than TOWIE’s Amy Childs and MIC’s Gabriella Ellis?

Essex’s Amy loves dogs, especially her pampered pug Prince Childs – and has openly admitted she would rather lie in bed with her dog than her boyfriend. Chelsea’s Gabriella Ellis loves felines’ sultry independence and adores her two cats - Snowy and TC (Topcat).

The main production – the YummyPets radio day

Using their popularity, Amy and Gabriella opened the debate on live radio, fighting to convince the listeners why their favourite pet should win.

In an attempt to put off the public from voting cats, Amy told listeners that cats were ‘creepy’ and ‘sly’.  Gabriella counter-argued, saying that dogs were ‘too high maintenance’, comparing them to toddlers.

Firefly scheduled interviews with the reality TV stars on over 60 radio stations including Capital Radio and BBC Essex.

Celebrity and lifestyle weekly magazine, Reveal, also wrote up an interview, stating that this summer is the time to settle the battle of dogs versus cats once and for all.

A winning production?

Tens of thousands of dog lovers and cat lovers visited the YummyPets website to register their vote.

The theme was a key factor in the success as it is a debate we’ve all encountered, with many of us leaning one way or the other.

The talent was also an essential element to getting the debate started. They were specifically chosen by Firefly to also play on the natural TOWIE versus Made in Chelsea rivalry.

Amy Childs TOWIE and Gabriella Ellis Made in Chelsea

And so, to answer the question of all questions, are we a nation of dog lovers or cats lovers? The answer is………drum roll please……DOGS!

Sorry feline fanatics, the canines clinched the top spot with 52% of the public vote.  Close, but no catty cigar – it’s the dogs who can wag their way into the sunlight for the happy ending with this one.

This post was written by Charlotte.

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