TDA Boulder Promotes Merrick Backcountry as ‘Wolf Tested’

By Erik Oster 

What better way to test new Merrick Backcountry, an ancestral canine diet with freeze-dried raw meat, than with dogs’ wild ancestors?” asks the voiceover at the beginning of TDA Boulder’s new spot for the brand.

For the spot, the agency (supposedly) left out a bowl of Merrick Backcountry and a bowl of competitors’ dog food at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center and recorded footage of the wolves scarfing down the former while ignoring the latter. Following the grainy night-vision footage of dogs chowing down on the food, the voiceover proclaims Merrick Backcountry “Wolf tested, dog-approved,” followed by the tagline, “The best dog ever deserves Merrick.”

While the idea behind the premise makes sense, testing an “ancestral canine diet” formula on dogs’ actual ancestors, in practice it makes for pretty dull viewing, whether or not the footage is legitimate (and the press release assures us it is real). Even at 30-seconds the spot can’t help but drag, and it’s hard to imagine people will be scrambling to share this one even if they find the idea of “wolf-approved” appealing. The digital spot is supported by full-page print ads in outdoor magazines, including Field & Stream, Outside, Backpacker and Men’s Journal and the idea actually seems better suited for that format.


AD: Haley Garyet
CWs: Tim Kelly, Dan Colburn
ECD: Jonathan Schoenberg
Account Supervisor: Colleen Callahan
Agency Producer: Kate Osborne

Prod. Co./Post: Futuristic Films, Denver
Director: Jasper Gray
D.P.: Robert Muratore
Producer: Sarah Liles
Production Manager: Alivia Olson
Editor: Richie Kendall
Post Producer: Mark Shelton
Color Correct: Jonnie Sirotek

Mix/Sound Design: Clatter & Din, Seattle
Engineer: Sam Gray