03 June 2009

Extra, Extra! Cesar Sunrise Wants You To Read All About It!

They say that the newspaper business is going to the dogs. A campaign for a new product has been making that sentiment come true, with humorous results.

The campaign is for a line of dog food from Mars Petcare U.S., a division of the giant marketer, Mars. The line is called Cesar Sunrise, part of the Cesar brand of offerings for small dogs, and it is being billed as “the first-ever gourmet canine cuisine breakfast.”

Marketers often refer to new products as providing “news” for consumers, assisting a brand to stand out in a crowded category. Mars Petcare U.S. and its agency, the BBDO West division of BBDO Worldwide, have taken that literally, by creating a make-believe newspaper to chronicle the arrival of Cesar Sunrise.

The newspaper, an eight-page broadsheet, carries the fanciful name of The West Highland Herald. There is an accompanying Web site as well, from which a PDF version of the paper may be downloaded.

An estimated 306,000 copies of the print edition of The Herald were distributed in a promotion that took place in eight major markets, including Atlanta, Chicago and Miami.

In two of those markets — New York and San Francisco — the free (fake) paper was accompanied by free (real) cups of coffee.

The jest behind the paper is that it was reported and edited by dogs for dogs. From the weather forecast (“It’s going to rain men and women”) to the classified ads (“For sale: Used stick. Hardly chewed. Has most of its original bark”), The Herald is completely canine-centric.

After all, if they say “Dog bites man is not news; man bites dog is news,” how newsworthy must it be when “dog writes newspaper”?

[Source: The New York Times]