Shockvertising: Is Pedigree starved for attention?

For Pedigree, all dogs will have their day.

Last week, Pedigree began posting photos of a malnourished canine, Duke, rescued by the Animal Welfare League in Chicago, to its 11,000 Twitter followers and more than 1 million Facebook followers. Pedigree’s intended purpose was to show how the dog has gradually gotten healthier by eating their dog food.

Pedigree’s tweets and Facebook posts (garnering several hundred to several thousand likes, favorites and retweets apiece)  link to a website showing Duke’s three-week transformation. Readers can scroll from a scrawny Duke to a more healthy-looking pooch. Users can mouse over key areas of the dog’s body to bring up health tips about the dog’s body, showing what to look for as a health indicator in a dog’s coat or muzzle.

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“The campaign allowed us to go behind-the-scenes to see the real-life transformation stories of shelter dogs,” wrote Tierney Monaco, Pedigree’s marketing director in a recent press release. Duke’s multimedia-enhanced story is the next step in a Pedigree’s campaign launched earlier this year, “See what good food can do.”

Perhaps predictably, not everyone loved the idea of Pedigree posting photos and videos of a sick dog all over social media:


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Maybe all is well that ends well, though: Pedigree has tweeted that Duke has since been adopted. Digiday reached out to Pedigree but has yet to receive a response.

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