To gain confidence reading, kids need a patient and non-judgey audience. So Mars’ Pedigree brand, which has long held that dogs bring out the best in humans, has created a book series that the company claims is designed for kids to read to canine companions.
Ad Nut dispatched a minion to double-check, and this is not an April Fool’s gag.
The initiative, created with Colenso BBDO, aims to counter a decline in child literacy linked to the pandemic, which has reduced the opportunities for kids to read out loud, according to the agency.
Emma Woodward, an educational psychologist, says in a release that the books “provide an opportunity for kids to fall in love with reading without the pressure of feeling they need to achieve”. Fabio Alings, Pedigree global brand director, adds that the series is also good for dogs, as it encourages the adoption of shelter dogs.
The agency will begin promoting the book launch next week via social media. The initial launch is focusing on New Zealand, but the aim is to spread the books worldwide.
Ideally, parents and other guardians should be the patient, non-critical listeners their kids need. And Ad Nut suspects that reminding them of this is a subtext of this initiative. But of course not all such adults are present, or able, to provide the hours of quiet listening that kids need.
Dogs, although they are known to squirrelkind as murderous beasts, are gentle and deferential to you humans. They’re simple-minded enough to sit for hours just listening to your voices, and they’re illiterate (unlike yours truly) which means they’re incapable of passing judgement on reading ability. So this just might work!
Ad Nut wonders what the books are about. Presumably if they’re really aligned with dog interests, there will be plots about eating random garbage, smelling other dogs’ butts, and licking themselves. Hopefully there are no storylines about rending innocent woodland creatures into bloody shreds.
Client: Global Brand Director, Fabio Alings
Client: Marketing Manager – Pet, Cormac Van Den Hoofdakker
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Production Company: Production Partners
Media Agency: Wavemaker
Child, Educational & Community Psychologist: Dr. Emma