I’d seen a shorter version of this ad on TV, or at least one similar to it. The production is great. Watch it a few times for all the subtleties.
I found out more information about the ad’s background at Duncan’s TV Ad Land:
Cat Herders was launched at the Super Bowl 2000, promoting EDS (Electronic Data Systems) as a digital company. The concept came from a popular business phrase incorporated in the title of the 1997 book, “Managing people is like herding cats: Warren Bennis on Leadership“.
So what would it be like to take a thousand cats through a ranch? John O’Hagan’s spot helps us visualise that. John, working with the Fallon Creative team, recruited real cowboys and used real cats and took them all to Tejon Ranch, 70 miles north of Los Angeles. The script came largely out of the improvised quips of the cowboys, replacing cattle with cats.
CGI was done by Sight Effects, Venice, California. The results are side-splitting but inspiring!
There’s more at his site, including links I didn’t embed in the quote above.