Rosie Baker is Marketing Week’s specialist on sustainability and retail.

Nestlé Purina has done something a bit weird with its latest campaign for the Beneful dog food brand in Austria. Instead of advertising what looks good to the eyes of the owner, it speaks directly to the dog.

In what it claims is the first-ever television commercial made for dogs, it uses particular tones and sounds that appeal to dogs, but are beyond human hearing range.


I’ve always found it a bit odd that petfood ads try to convince pet owners that the brand of dog food they are buying for little Rover is so delicious they would want to eat it themselves.

It was trialled in Germany over the summer and is now rolling out to Austria.

The brand manager of Beneful Xavier Pérez, says the ad campaign was developed to exploit the “special one-to-one relationship” between people and their pets, but

Weird, and while the dog may be able to pick up these sounds that are imperceptible to the human ear and wag its tail to the ad, they cant actually communicate their newly discovered brand preference to their owner, or make them pick it up in the supermarket.

Benefel has also previously trailed a scratch and sniff style campaign, which meant dogs could smell the food from some outdoor ads.

Both of these tactics seem a bit ridiculous, but at least the brand is doing something a little bit different.

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