Daily Archives: October 21, 2011

Deeper social engagement: Beneful advertising for dogs

In their efforts to reach more and more customers marketers are using new ways to engage us.  Our pets.

Purina has released an advert for Purina Beneful.  Here’s the link to the original advert on YouTube.  This advert is different as it’s embedded with sounds at a frequency only dogs can hear.   Take a look at the reaction from this dog watching the commercial

The theory is that you engage with your dog, and your dog is engaging with the TV, therefore you’re much more likely to become aware of the adverts too.

And it certainly seems to work.  Dogs around the world are responding not only to the original TV advert, but also to the YouTube videos of dogs responding to the advert. Here’s a dog that drops it’s ball when the TV advert starts, Alsatians respond together, and a pug gets really interested in a laptop playing the Beneful video

Nestle explained how they created the Beneful video with sounds that dogs like:

    • The first is a ‘squeak’ which is similar to the sound dogs’ toys make. Both dogs and people can hear this.
    • The next sound is a high frequency tone, similar to a dog whistle, which humans can barely hear.
    • And the third sound is a soft, high-pitched ‘ping’ which can be heard by dogs and people.

…and judging by the reaction of the dogs in the follow up videos – it does seem to get their attention – and the attention of their owners.    From a social media perspective, getting deeper engagement with your audience is something that brands strive to achieve, and by exploiting the bond that we have with our animals you can ensure deeper audience engagement with the brand.  It’s certainly a great way to further deepen the connection to the brand.

I’m not sure that cats could actually be bothered to engage with the TV to the level that dogs do – although they do seem to enjoy the ipad for cats game.

Thanks goodness not so many cats have thumbs… yet…


Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.