Friday 26 July 2013

TV goes to the dogs with first channel for canines - a breakthrough in discerning viewing?

Lonely, bored dogs left at home all day while their owners are at work could soon be getting some digital company - a TV channel with programming just for pooches. DOGTV, a 24/7 channel designed specifically for man's best friend, will air nationally next month on the U.S. satellite operator DirecTV, with hopes of attracting dogs in some of the 46 million U.S. households that have at least one.

Given the quality of alternative viewing choices it has to be presumed that significant numbers of suppliers’ regular advert-targets might choose to watch DOGTV with their pets…

This raise a number of issues:
  • Who is the real target here?
  • How will doggie viewing patterns compare with humans’ passive behaviour i.e. a real challenge to content and advert appeal?
  • If the TV station upgrades its output for increased engagement, how will human couch-potatoes cope with the resulting excitement?
  • If the dog barks in response to a specific advert, does this indicate approval or the opposite?
  • As the sounds include a range of frequencies tailored to a dog’s sense of hearing, how can owners monitor the messages reaching their pets?
  • Presumably someone put a proposal on a table somewhere and raised adequate start-up capital i.e. there has to be a potential revenue stream here, or a hidden agenda, the final nail in the traditional TV- coffin?
The real opportunity?
For those of you now seriously considering the potential of this new medium, it may help to know that the real competition may be the proposed content … The channel won't be showing the canine equivalent of "Modern Family," "Mad Men" or "Downton Abbey" but will feature programs with music, visuals, animation and the occasional human that are designed to relax, stimulate and ease the loneliness of home-alone pets. This means that the advertising has to be sufficiently compelling that dogs will time their ‘natural-breaks’ to coincide with the content rather than while the ad-breaks are airing, perhaps the ultimate Kanine-Pee-Indicator…?.

NB. Caution ref high-pitched sound:
A pet-food marketing pal of mine Ray Wilsmer tried this idea many years ago using a Great Dane lying asleep on a couch in front of the TV. Ray crouched behind the TV with a high-pitched dog-whistle which he blew several times during screening of his commercial, without managing to awaken the dog… Eventually Ray crept behind the couch, leaned over, positioned the whistle on the dog’s ear and blew with such vigour that the dog committed a massive social indiscretion all over the couch…

Finally, before you ask, the station is already planning a TV channel for cats…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's Moore like it! who needs BBC International anyway - Jeremy@Singapore