By using high-frequency noises that humans cannot hear, Purina’s new commercials are now directly advertising to dogs! Your pup cannot turn on the T.V. or grocery shop, but marketing experts still claim that this is effective. But we cannot help but wonder, what kind of pet parents are plopping their dogs down in front of the T.V. and then allowing them to make consumer decisions? We know that Lucky is too busy enjoying life to be glued the boob tube. Sure, she tries to get caught up on Dancing With the Stars when she can, but only to brush up on some doggie dance moves.
Currently airing in Austria, the commercial is complete with a high-pitch pinging noise, a whistle barely heard by humans, and squeaks akin to a dog toy. Your pet may not want to buy Purina’s Beneful dog food after viewing, but will definitely seek out some new squeaky toys as a result! Marketing experts suggest that this type of advertising will increase the bond between pets and their parents.
Carol Johanek, a professor of marketing and former consumer researcher for Purina Petcare explained further, saying “In today’s world, we see an increase of older individuals living alone who rely on their pets for companionship and this provides a time for the owner and pet to interact.” But is vegging out to an episode of The Real Housewives really the best way to interact with your furry friend?
Purina has experimented with other direct-doggie advertising in the past. In Germany last year, they used “sniff” posters that gave dogs the chance to smell Beneful dog food while on walks with their owners. Experts suggest that these methods are meant to strengthen the brand relationship with pet owners, even though the ads go around them and straight to the top dog.
We are not sure how this works, but we are excited about the prospect of direct-doggie advertising. We suggest planting subliminal messages in trees, fire hydrants, and the mail man. Meanwhile, the extra revenue from such advertising should be put towards developing dog televisions that can be operated with just the touch of a wet nose. Until then, we’ll keep Lucky away from the T.V. unless she’s the star on camera!