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Nestlé Aims to Attract Canine Viewers with New Beneful Commercial

Posted: Sept. 30, 2011, 2:10 p.m., EDT

Pet food manufacturer Nestlé Purina reported today that it has launched what it believes to be the first television commercial designed especially for dogs. The Beneful commercial, which airs on Austrian television this week, uses a high-frequency tone to grab dogs’ attention.

“Dogs’ hearing is twice as sharp as humans,” said Georg Sanders, a nutrition expert and consumer consultant at Nestlé Purina PetCare in Germany. “They can pick up frequencies which are beyond our range and they are better at differentiating sounds.”

Before making the commercial, Nestlé asked its experts in pet behavior, based in St. Joseph, Mo., to find out what would appeal to dogs. The result is a 23-second commercial for its Beneful dog food brand that was first broadcast on German TV and the German Beneful website. It features a tone similar to a dog whistle, which humans can barely hear, as well as a “squeak,” similar to the sound dogs’ toys make, and a high-pitched “ping,” both of which are supposed to be audible to humans and dogs.

Beneful dog commercial
Nestlé Purina’s Beneful commercial in Europe features certain sounds meant to attract dogs.

Sanders said a dog’s reaction to the commercial will depend on how the dog and owner play together and the dog’s individual experience.

“Dogs who often play with a squeaky duck as they are running around with their owner will certainly react most strongly to this sound,” he said.

Xavier Perez, brand manager of Beneful for Europe, said the commercial aims to reach both the pet and the owner, supporting the special one-to-one relationship between them.

“We want to position our brand as one which understands the unique relationship between owners and their dogs,” Perez said.

As part of the campaign in Germany, Nestlé Purina is running an online sweepstakes through October. To enter, dog owners have to select which sound their pet responded to the most. The winner will receive a year’s supply of Beneful dog food.

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You are kidding, right? Subliminal messages to my dog? That is truly vile and ultimately a violation of trust, IMO.
Sarah, St. Joseph, MO
Posted: 10/4/2011 10:01:39 AM
Is the company doing that bad finacially that need to attackthe senses of our canine loved ones during their commercials??? This is and should not be considered an acceptable form f commercial advertising! No one should be able to train our pets but us and certainly not through some commercial ad for a pet food!!!!! Don't start making pet owners afraid to watch television!!! Pull the AD!!!
Sabina, Moreno Valley, CA
Posted: 10/4/2011 7:20:31 AM
Not crazy about this concept - why do you needs dogs to watch tv and why are you playing with frequencies that effect dog's hearing? Answer: so that dogs pay attention to your commercial and just maybe the silly owners will go out and buy more of your product.... Sadly, I hope there are laws in N. america to stop you from doing this here... Nestle is already in enough trouble with animal advocates...
Heather, Calgary, AL
Posted: 10/3/2011 3:33:08 PM
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