A Viral Awww…For Dog Lovers; Shepherding Media Literacy: NULO

Dec 23, 2010 I have ‘holiday head’ which means despite important breaking media news on net neutrality, the FCC, and strong outcomes of public opinion polls involving Do Not Track consumer demands, I’m unapologetically posting a viral ditty about a dog, and label literacy on NULO (NUtrition meets LOve) dog food. Why?

Let’s just say I’ve been trying extremely hard to manage “life balance” lately, and I need to get outta my head and break from the year end digital deluge of lists, top tens, future predictions of media forms and “the next big thing” in order to be present in the present amidst a multi-generational household of challenges.

Yep, I need to ‘eat my own dog food’ and ‘let it go’ regardless of how important the subject matter might be and stay in the holiday spirit of light and giving…so I bring you this sweet forwarded email that’s been making the rounds titled “Nativity Scene.” (slammed on snope discussions for being warm-n-fuzzy propaganda, but c’est la vie, as it obviously worked on me.) It reads:

“A Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard. During the night the folks came across this scene..An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep…”

“He chose baby Jesus as his comfort. No one had the heart to send him away so he was there all night. We should all have the good sense of this dog and curl up in Jesus’ lap from time to time”

“This is too sweet not to share. No one mentioned that the dog breed is a “shepherd!”

I could get all media literacy-ish on you and explain that the nativity shepherd is a MIX, (and is a twin for my favorite neighborhood cutie named Cadence which has a variety of breeds in her including whippet)

…But I’d rather reserve the packaging and “what’s in the mix” deconstruction for the label lingo on “NULO” a new company of high quality canine cuisine run by some pals of mine that sent out perhaps the best year-end pitch to try their product I’ve seen in awhile.

Again, why am I including this?

I assure you, as always, NO free samples, blog nepotism, or quid pro quo, simply an ‘aha’ moment I had reading the pitch when comparing it to the exact same way I try to teach kids about label literacy and human nutrition (e.g. “if it has high fructose corn syrup in the top two ingredients, put it down”)

Check out the similarities in NULO dog food’s label literacy to pet owners:

“Read the fine print–READ THE BACK OF THE BAG!”

“IF – it says “corn”, “wheat”, “soy”, “gluten”, or “by products”, THEN – it is the same as super sized human fast food. THROW IT OUT! You are taking your pet through the drive thru, for every meal.”

“IF – it does not have a named protein meat (lamb, salmon, chicken) and a named protein meal (lamb meal, salmon meal, chicken meal) as the FIRST TWO ingredients, You are not getting as much appropriate and essential meat protein as you get in Nulo.”

Mind you, I have two abandoned, rowdy shelter strays myself, (Nalu & Kai at left) who were both sickly when I first took them in, so I’m always trying to see what’s best to feed them to ‘grow properly’ so NULO caught my eye as a solid nutrition pitch.

The rest of the email was a pithy fun-fest of features and why-to-buys, written in my friend Brett’s “I can almost hear him saying that” natural voice.

“We ship direct to your door. No more running to the store, road rage parking, schlepping, running out of stale cardboard food…I’m exhausted already…”

Marketing-wise, it’s a must share, since it’s a snapshot of how pitches have changed over time into colloquial conversations adding personality to the brand while selling convenience and quality with media savvy style.

Some favorite wink and nudge truisms and MEDIA takeaways:

“… For those of you who still have a rotary dial avocado green phone hanging on your kitchen wall…well, enough said: 888-400 NULO (6856), dial “0” for the operator.

For those of you who do not even know what a rotary dial phone IS, or even what a “phone” is for that matter: WWW.NULO.COM

…”If you have friends, family, people you just drink with, friends of friends that you have to tolerate, acquaintances, know people who really love their pets (you know the ones that every picture on their Facebook page has their dog or cat in it), please pass this along.

“…Nutritionally dense food, so that you don’t need to feed as much, so it is just as economical as the premium food you buy now. (unless you’re one of those Costco people – you know who you are). Less is more.

“..All the food you buy at your vet or at the store is 9 to 14 months old before you even get it, much less consume it.” YUK– …”Those bags you buy with the different dogs, cats, ages, sizes, and needs being touted on the bag….are usually all the exact same food inside of different packaging. Clever huh?

And finally, here’s NULO’s self-spoofing media close in infomercial style:

“…But wait, don’t answer yet! You do not get the extra set of knives, but you do get TWENTY % OFF!! Just enter the code “BRETT” at check out, and receive 20% off and FREE SHIPPING on your first order.”

I knew I needed label literacy for making sense of all of the hype on brands, but I still wonder HOW they can ship from door to door, as dog food is heavy. I see on the Nulo Pets Facebook page it says “Free shipping and Free Treats on all orders over $50″…How do they do this?

Gonna go visit their site now and peel back my own version of media literacy to see how they deal with shipping costs, cause I would love to avoid strong-arming a forty pounder over my shoulder like Santa with a sack of loot…ouch.

For more about NULO, check out their YouTube channel (good video on junk food/overweight pets and obesity prevention) and the pet tips on their Facebook page (always wondered whether pets can catch a cold) or chat ‘em up on Twitter, too.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all…

Be sure to keep an eye out for mangers in your hometown to see if there are any ‘shepherds’ watching over their flocks by night. Kids and dogs, I tell ya, they steal the media show every time. Precious.



  1. I think the education piece on the actual dog food bag gives loads of credit to this company. Granted I don’t have any pets myself, I would think that once I do, I would take the responsibility to realize what’s good or bad. I think this is good for first time pet owners too. The literacy light bulb moment is pretty clear here. And I’m glad you are getting outside of your own mind for a bit m’dear :)Merry Christmas!

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