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Betty White Enters Her Dog As Orvis Cover Dog

02/15/2012

While researching for a project the other day I stumbled upon some videos on the home page of the Orvis website.

Orvis, the venerable outfitter of well-heeled outdoors enthusiasts since 1856, makes some fine products. I own a couple of their fly rods along with waders and reels. Within minutes I was off task and browsing the Orvis site.

What I expected to find were predictable product videos. Thinly veiled commercials using imagery that outdoors enthusiasts of all stripes find appealing. Sporting scene glory shots such as game birds in flight, fish on the line and, of course, dogs. Orvis and others, such as LL Bean, have long known that dogs (especially puppies) make for great merchandising props because they are irresistible to many. Additionally Orvis has made a name for itself by selling some of the best dog handling and care products around.

What I found instead was rather surprising. Here’s Betty White, who recently turned 90 in a very public celebration on network TV, leafing through a Orvis catalog with her dog, “Buck”. White wants Buck to be an Orvis cover dog. Buck is not so cooperative. She is charming and will stop at nothing to get Buck on the cover of the Orvis dog book.  White makes the spot work well. The production quality is better than average. Surprisingly the spot has been viewed by only 36,000 viewers.

Orvis has done a great job of leveraging its strengths and brings in White as a pleasant surprise. Additionally Orvis makes a donation to the Morris Animal Foundation’s Canine Cancer campaign for every vote in cover dog selection process – which is smart too.

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