19 Feb

Oprah Loves Canadian Olympic Mittens

Posted in News, Promotional Products on 19.02.10 by John Meloche

You know the term, ?any publicity is good publicity?? Well that may be true. However, the following is most certainly even more accurate: ?Oprah's publicity is the best publicity?!

In case you weren't aware of the marketing power held by America's most popular TV show host for the past several decades, just ask Canada's Hudson's Bay Company and they'll tell you that Oprah Winfrey rules!

With the 2010 Winter Olympic Games taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia, HBC unveiled the very patriotic red mittens with a white maple leaf on the palm for any and all customers to use to keep warm while supporting their favourite athletes. This past week, Oprah Winfrey decided to sport a pair of the popular mittens as well as give out a pair to each member of her audience.

As Tamsyn Burgmann of The Canadian Press reports today, this gesture has made these already-popular Canadian items the very hottest item going right now. Writes Burgmann: ?If they were hand-wringingly hard to get before, now that Oprah Winfrey has gotten her paws on them it'll be next to impossible.?

NBC journalist and co-host of ?The Today Show?, Matt Lauer joined Oprah on her show via satellite this past week and had this to say to her: ?Nobody can get a hold of these red Canadian mittens and we have scoured the entire country to find one pair for you…And you open the show wearing the darn things.?

If you can find a pair at any of HBC's stores including The Bay, Zellers and Home Outfitters, they should only cost you about ten dollars. But good luck finding any available pairs. Writes Burgmann: ?The retailer stocked store shelves across the country with three million pairs of mittens, and two million of them sold even before the Winter Games began a week ago.?

Now with Oprah's endorsement, one can only imagine how many more pairs of the mittens have been flying off of the shelves. Apparently, the famed talk show host noticed an audience member wearing the mittens last week, prompting her to order some. HBC ended up sending her 300 pairs.

And although most Canadians find Oprah's praising of the popular Canadian product a welcome delight, some are not so quick to be so generous to fans of her show south of the border. Burgmann points out that one Canadian had a Twitter post expressing his angered sentiments about Oprah's mitten giveaway.

Said the ?tweet?: ?I don't think anyone in Oprah's audience should get red maple-leaf Olympic mittens unless they can find Canada on a map first.? Nevertheless, Canadians are making their marks, not only on the podium, but on the hands of millions watching the Olympics this year.

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