Nestle ad first to pitch at canine customers 04 Oct 11

(Reuters) – Nestle, one of the world’s biggest makers of pet food, said on Friday it had launched the first television commercial designed especially for dogs, using a high-frequency tone to grab their attention.

“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,” said Georg Sanders, a nutrition expert at Nestle Purina PetCare in Germany.

Nestle asked experts in pet behavior in the United States to research what would appeal to dogs and used the results to create the 23-second commercial for its Beneful dog food brand.

The advert, to be screened on Austrian television this week, features a tone similar to a dog whistle, which humans can barely hear, as well as an audible “squeak” like the sound dogs’ toys make and a high-pitched “ping.”

“So delicious, so healthy, so happy,” ends the commercial in German, which features a dog pricking up his ears.

“The television commercial aims to reach both the pet and the owner, supporting the special one-to-one relationship between them,” said Xavier Perez, Brand Manager of Beneful for Europe.

Nestle said in a statement the commercial follows an award-winning campaign in Germany that featured “sniffable” posters to attract dogs.

Nestle’s Petcare division reported first-half sales of 4.8 billion Swiss francs ($5.4 billion), accounting for almost 12 percent of revenue at the world’s biggest food group. It competes with Mars, maker of the Pedigree dog food brand.