Toth Reels in Orvis

A passion for fly-fishing and outdoors activities shared by executives at Toth Brand Imaging, combined with the shop’s penchant for “lifestyle branding,” led to an assignment from Orvis Co.

The Concord, Mass., agency bested three undisclosed agencies for the project, which includes creating a brand identity that will translate across all of Orvis’ markets and distribution channels, including catalogs, retail venues, the Internet, dealer/wholesale accounts and its fishing schools.

While the budget was not disclosed, Toth chief operating officer Dick Emerson described the assignment as a “project of significant scope” that will last into the first quarter of next year.

Orvis, which offers products ranging from men’s and women’s clothing to home furnishings, gifts, luggage, and fly-fishing equipment, spent less than $1 million on ads in 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting. That number does not include catalog work, which constitutes the “lion’s share” of the 143-year-old company’s marketing efforts, said Orvis director of advertising Bill Eyre.

Orvis, Manchester, Vt., has primarily handled advertising, catalog de-velopment and promotions in-house, but hired Toth in an attempt to broaden brand recognition, Eyre said. The company operates 23 retail stores, primarily in the Northeast, and also sells through some 600 other outlets worldwide.

“We felt that an outside resource was the best and most informed way [to create a consistent brand identity],” Eyre said, adding that Toth was chosen based on its track record with classic American and lifestyle brands.