Nestle TV ads go to the dogs

London, 4 October 2011 (MIA) - Nestle, the world’s largest food company and one of the biggest makers of pet food, will launch a world’s first this week – a television commercial aimed directly at dogs, using high-frequency squeaks and signals to grab their attention.

The ad is set to be screened on Austrian television this week and will feature tones similar to a dog whistle, an audible “squeak” like the sound dogs' toys make and a high-pitched "ping."

According to a statement by the company, the idea for the ad came from another award-winning campaign in Germany, which featured “sniffable” posters in order to attract dogs.

"The television commercial aims to reach both the pet and the owner, supporting the special one-to-one relationship between them," said Xavier Perez, the European Brand Manager for Nestle’s Beneful dog food brand, as quoted by Reuters.

To create the ad, Nestle consulted pet behaviour experts in the US on the best possible ways to appeal to canine senses. The results were then implemented into the 23-second commercial.

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

“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 added.

Gerardo Perez, a veterinarian at Nestle Purina added to the Financial Times that the desired effect for the ad would see dogs rushing to the television screens and pricking up their ears, prompting owners to purchase the pet food.

Sales in Nestle's pet food department has remained fairly strong for the company despite the recent economic downturn. The Petcare division reported first-half sales of US$5.4 billion this year, accounting for almost 13 percent of the company’s total revenue. The division also posted stronger growth rates than Nestle’s overall group.

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