Orvis Virtual Mayfly Festival

Orvis Virtual Mayfly Festival

Zambuni is a London-based boutique PR, Marketing and Social Media Agency working within the Outdoor Lifestyle, Wild Food, Environment and Conservation sectors. This campaign was executed by Zambuni for Orvis UK. At its core Orvis is a fly-fishing brand, inspired by nature, driven by curiosity, and fulfilled by adventure. As the world leader in fly fishing, Orvis also has a wide assortment of men’s and women’s clothing, dog beds and dog products.

The Idea:

We wanted to ensure that our client Orvis could keep in touch with their customers for the duration of the first lockdown, while their retail stores were closed, to help them through this difficult time, whilst also supporting Consumer Direct sales through orvis.co.uk.

We conducted research for Orvis UK in April 2020, just 2 weeks into the first lockdown, through a survey with Gorkana, which indicated that 60% of people asked in the UK hoped to spend more time in the countryside after lockdown, including taking up activities like fly fishing, which is recognised as being good for your mental wellbeing. ​We felt that Orvis was uniquely placed to explore this as it is a key area of their expertise as a brand.


The first Orvis Virtual Mayfly Festival was born from this and scheduled to take place in the last two weeks of May 2020, focusing on the Iconic Mayfly Fishing season as a hook for content.

Our intent for the festival: ​

    • Remove the barriers to entry into fly fishing​
    • Inspire a deep connection to adventure and wonder in the outdoor world​
    • Increase social media engagement and followers
    • Create a sense of escapism
    • Offer fun and educational content​ to celebrate the iconic Mayfly season
    • Support customers​ at home


Following the temporary closure of Orvis UK’s 18 retail stores in March, Zambuni commissioned the survey in April and began creating content for the Mayfly Festival until mid-May.

The Orvis UK social media channels offered the perfect tool to connect with their customers and deliver these messages to them in a time where the desire to get outdoors was prevalent amongst their followers. ​We announced the dates for the festival on social media and launched with a press release to drive traffic to the social channels.

The target audience was not only existing followers and customers, but to also spread the word about the joys of fly fishing and adventure in the outdoors to a new audience who may not have craved these experiences until the first lockdown.


To create a ‘festival feel’ we increased the frequency of content across Orvis UK social channels by 50%. ​We planned a mix between user-generated content, LIVE Q&A’s with Orvis or industry partners and collated a bank of professional content to utilise as brand-new content.

​To plan this, we reached out to Orvis Associates and industry partners to fit them into the schedule based on what they could offer​, drawing on Orvis’ own expertise and resource from within the brand.

We increased content by 50%, including daily images to reinforce the festival’s theme, produced new festival logos and educational pieces, e.g. #MayflyFestivalFacts, learn to fly fish videos and interviews. We implemented a schedule of Facebook LIVE’s, a first for the brand, with industry figures to be able to connect with people in their homes and offer thoughtful interaction.

We wrote and increased blog content to go out throughout the festival from a range of voices, creating a downloadable activity booklet for children to learn about the Mayfly and fly fishing in a fun and educational way.


As a result of the two weeks, we increased engagement across Instagram by 155.9% compared with the previous month and on Facebook by 53.2% on the previous month. This sustained level of engagement continued post-festival, repurposing much of the content to have longevity for the brand.

We welcomed and nurtured a new audience through an organic increase in over 600 new followers, gained during the two-week period, with no paid promotions.

Established brand loyalty​ and brand awareness, supporting consumer direct sales and increased participation on social media. We established new ideas adapted to the ‘new normal’ we were living in, creating the Orvis Virtual We Love Dogs Festival which later took place in June.

We created deeper connections with content creators and brand partners for Orvis UK​, securing contacts that we are still working with today. We created lasting educational content for those looking to learn how to fly fish and make the most of the UK’s outdoors.

Lifestyle and industry press coverage secured. Online sales for fishing rose 100% directly after this initiative.