This film is part of Free

Dogs for the Antarctic

Ernest Shackleton's sledge-dogs pause to promote 'Spratt's Dog Cakes', en route to the South Pole.

Non-Fiction 1914 1 mins Silent


As war was brewing in Europe, polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton embarked on his second voyage to Antarctica, taking with him a pack of mongrel Canadian sledge dogs -- stars of this Topical Budget newsreel item. En route to their polar adventure, the dogs pose for a poochy portrait at Spratt's Dog Sanatorium, in Beddington, near Croydon, where they enthusiastically promote Spratt's Dog Cakes.

This wily piece of product placement was apparently the result of a trade-off between Shackleton and Spratt: free supplies of dog biscuits in exchange for endorsement (the explorer struck a similar deal with Bovril). The film's cheery, slightly frivolous tone is typical of Topical Budget's light-hearted approach to current events. No mention is made of the impending risk to the welfare of the animals - none of which made it home from the expedition.