Last fall, a team of researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan conducted a study which found that those who looked at pictures of baby animals, such as puppies and kittens, did more productive work afterward, as reported in an article in the Washington Post.

As digital celebrities like Keyboard Cat and Tardar Sauce the grumpy cat have shown, cats also seem to have a knack for humor. In prepping for this month’s cover story on Deerfield, Ill.-based Beam Inc. (page 26), I came across a YouTube video from its Sauza brand called “Make it with a Fireman.” As the fireman in the video begins teaching his audience how to make a Margarita with Sauza tequila, he places a kitten on the counter, noting that “kittens make everything better.” The remainder of the video is filled with humor and helpful tips for making a Margarita. To date, the compilation of videos has received more than 9 million views.

 Whereas Beam and many other beverage-makers in the last few years did not focus on digital, Bill Newlands, president of Beam North America, says that today Beam spends nearly one-third of its consumer spend in the digital environment. And other companies seem to be following suit. According to KPMG LLP’s Food and Beverage Industry Outlook Survey, 27 percent of respondents plan to use digital media marketing messages using video for external brand promotion this year. This is particularly important for reaching the millennial generation — and for those of us cat lovers, it’s also an entertaining way to be marketed to.