‘Guy Next Door’ Fronts Ortho Lawn Care

NEW YORK The Scotts Company has launched a national campaign for its Ortho brand that introduces actor John Schneider as its first spokesperson and promotes three weed- and pest-control products.

“We went into it not convinced that we wanted or needed a celebrity. The question was who will be the best spokesperson,” said Mike Rogers, president and creative director at Wolf Group in New York, the agency that created the campaign.

Scotts chose Schneider, best known for his role as Beau Duke on the Dukes of Hazzard, after considering a list of 300 celebrity as well as unknown candidates. Many were dismissed out of hand because they did not seem like the type to do lawn work, said Rogers.

“He seemed like he’s really the guy next door,” Rogers said. Focus groups characterized Schneider as approachable, trustworthy and warm, the client said in a statement.

The 15-week campaign launched on March 31 with an Ortho Weed-B-Gone ad, the first of three to air on broadcast and cable networks. In it, Schneider chastises his dog for nibbling at a dandelion and tells viewers that the product “kills weeds, not lawns.”

It is the brand’s first television campaign since 1998.