Barking Mad Ad


Dog food manufacturer Bakers has just launched the first British advertisement made specifically for dogs. The advert, which aired for the first time last week on ITV 1, includes sounds which are beyond the range of human hearing.

The commercial is a pastiche of classic movie ‘The Italian Job’ but with a difference. According to the producers, the advert features whistles and barks above 17,000 hertz which have been included to get the attention of any canine “viewers” who happen to be near the television.

According to one report, the thinking behind the advert is that: “It will provoke dogs, who are not usually captivated by visual stimuli, into reacting to the TV, convincing owners that they are interested in the product on the screen”.

Bakers claim that most dogs are expected to react by pricking up their ears, tilting their heads or walking over to the TV set. So as an experiment, we filmed our resident canine and Studio Manager, Huxley, during its first airing in order to gauge the success of the advert in attracting a new, more furry audience.

The agency responsible for creating the advert tested it on 12 dogs who were distracted with toys and found that they all reacted to its subliminal sounds. As you can see from our research (and the video above), despite there being no toys to distract Huxley, he seemed pretty unimpressed.

Will we as owners be responding to the advert and buying Huxley some Bakers dog food? Probably not.

The advert may have attracted a small canine audience and generated some interesting press coverage and publicity but it’s hardly been a resounding success, based on the evidence which we’ve seen. The target audience has limited spending power and coupled with a mixed reaction on social media networks, we believe that Bakers are barking up the wrong tree.