Another Pet-Food Ad Makes a Dog-Whistle Sound

Spot speaks directly to canines

Employing what sounds like a far-fetched idea, Bakers dog food, a Purina brand in Britain, has embellished one of its commercials (in which pooches hijack a delivery truck filled with product) with a whistle sound that the client claims only canines can hear. The goal is apparently to make dogs take notice and bark at the TV, thus catching the attention of their owners. (Yeah, great way to endear the brand to humans. "Dammit, Fluffy, shut up!") Beneful tried the same tactic in Austria last year. We haven't heard much about that campaign since, though of course we wouldn't, as sounds above 18,000 hertz can't be detected by the human ear. Actually, most commercials would be improved if we couldn't hear their voiceovers and soundtracks, though there are exceptions.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: February 13, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT