The first British advertisement made specially for dogs, which includes sounds beyond the range of human hearing, will be broadcast tonight on ITV1.
Devised by ad men working for dog food manufacturer Bakers, the commercial is a pastiche of The Italian Job with a difference – it features whistles and barks above 17,000 hertz that have been included to get the attention of any canine “viewers” who happen to be near the television.
The thinking behind the ad 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.
Most dogs are expected to react by pricking up their ears, tilting their heads or walking over to the TV set.
Bakers tested the ad on 12 dogs who were distracted with toys and found that they all reacted to its “subliminal” sounds.
A similar advert, tailor-made for cats, was broadcast in Britain in 1999 and pet owners who saw it reported that their animals were riveted.
The Bakers dog food ad will go out around 7:15pm, during this evening’s episode of Emmerdale.