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Every year on the 5th of November the UK celebrates Bonfire Night by putting on huge fireworks displays – much to the distress of the nation’s dogs. To help dog owners safeguard the wellbeing of their pets we created the world’s first bedtime story for dogs – a free audiobook that was scientifically developed to reduce canine stress during fireworks.
We collaborated with the UK’s foremost dog behaviourist to provide the science and commissioned a children’s author to pen the story itself. The final piece of the puzzle was a narrator with a relaxing voice. That’s where esteemed actor (and dog-lover) Simon Callow came in. We filmed and photographed Simon narrating the bedtime story and released the audiobook one week before Bonfire Night as a video on the MORE TH>N YouTube page (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-peZNCkRzzw), a free-to-download audio file and as an illustrated, phonetically written book from the MORE TH>N website.
And as we remembered the 5th November our story, Teddy and Stanley’s Tall Tale, was wonderfully received all over. Amongst some seriously sizeable print and online coverage in The Guardian, Guardian.co.uk, The Independent, Independent.co.uk, Metro, Metro.co.uk, Daily Telegraph, Telegraph Online, Mail Online, Daily Star, Daily Star Online , The Sun, Sun Online and Radio Times we also saw Five Live, BBC Radio Four’s Today and You And Yours and BBC News run lovely pieces.
Meanwhile, social networking sites buzzed all the world, with over 50,000 views of the YouTube video, links from the likes of Guardian Books and Visit England, and, most importantly, appreciative dogs owners who got in touch with MORE TH>N to say the story had sent their dogs into a happy slumber. Job done. So, rest assured, it wasn’t just another shaggy dog story after all.
Since we ran the campaign it has gone on to be recognised by the PR industry, winning the CIPR Excellence Award 2013 for Media Relations, as well as being highly commended or shortlisted in PR Week, PRCA, DRUM and SABRE awards and proudly featured in the Ideas Of The Year book.