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Scout’s Super Bowl story is a viral hit

February 3, 2020 By John Lucas

In recent years, Badgers like Russell Wilson and James White have shined on the world’s biggest stage. This year, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever named Scout and UW’s School of Veterinary Medicine stole the show.

Near the end of the second quarter of Sunday’s game, Scout appeared in a 30-second spot alongside UW–Madison faculty and staff who have been part of his cancer journey.

The inspirational and heartwarming commercial, titled “Lucky Dog,” was the idea of Scout’s dog dad, WeatherTech founder and CEO David MacNeil. In gratitude for Scout’s treatment, the ad urges viewers to donate to SVM’s cancer research efforts via

Scout’s story received an overwhelming reaction since it was first released on Tuesday, with the Los Angeles Times calling it one of the best 2020 Super Bowl ads.

Media coverage: Scout’s story has been shared by outlets as far away as Ireland and New Zealand and has also included domestic coverage from NBC Nightly News, ABC’s World News Tonight, NPR’s Morning Edition, NBC’s Today Show, the Chicago Tribune, New York Post, Washington Post and People Magazine, among hundreds of others.

Donations: The School of Veterinary Medicine has received thousands of gifts from 49 states, plus Europe and South America. The gifts have ranged from $5 to a $250,000 gift of generous support from Petco Foundation. (Full gift totals are not immediately available, and gifts will continue to be accepted well after the game.)

Social media: Scout’s spot has been seen a total of nearly 900,000 times on YouTube between UW and WeatherTech channels. It has become UW’s most widely watched YouTube video of all time, with UW channel views up more than 4,000 percent. Across social media, the spot has garnered millions of impressions and thousands of engagements that are still being totaled.

(See below for additional coverage and reaction from across Instagram and Twitter.)

The experience has been hugely positive for Scout, WeatherTech and UW–Madison, says Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

The event elevated UW’s faculty and staff, shares a cancer research message to a global audience and lifts the entire veterinary medicine field.

“This is an incredible story. We’ve never been featured in a Super Bowl ad before — I’m not sure any university has been the beneficiary of such a commercial.

“This chance helps us share Scout’s story with the biggest possible audience, all in an effort to save the lives of other animals and raise funds for research.”

To read more about Scout’s story and make a donation, please visit

More information about the School of Veterinary Medicine and canine oncology is here:

Goldens watching Goldens:

Scout-inspired fashion:

Family group chat bonding over NPR Morning Edition:

Turn empathy into action:

Petco gift ($250K):

Golden retriever solidarity:

UW proud: