REI has served serious outdoorsy types since 1938. But how do you sell a new line of urban outdoor gear to millennials who like to stay inside? You bring the outdoors to them. We launched evrgrn — REI's new line of products for urban millennials with — with a luxurious and unexpected campsite inside an urban lfot in the middle of San Francisco
REI was launching a new brand/product line, evrgrn. Our assignment was to identify and activate 4-5 Influencers to build word of mouth and engagement around the new brand and product line. The client also requested a social activation that created a ‘moment in time’, likely timed with the product launch in-store..
definition + strategy
At the time of the desired launch, we assessed the marketing landscape and audited recent product launches to come up with the right approach for REI.
Influencer marketing was just beginning to gain traction on social media, and given the client's need to have the new evrgrn product line resonate with a younger millennial target, we focused our efforts on experiential and social. We were working with a limited budget to create buzz around the new product leveraging the massive followings of key influencers in our key launch market of SF made the most sense.
We scouted San Francisco for the perfect space to transform into an urban oasis. There were legal and safety considerations to factor in as we intended to use the space as a temporary rental. We found a bright, spacious loft in San Francisco with a beautiful outdoor space, that served as the ideal blank canvas to turn into a one-of-a-kind, cozy indoor campsite. We blurred the lines between indoor an outdoor with floor-to-ceiling greenery, trees, luxury furnishings styled around the evrgrn products, by bringing hundreds of plants indoors, complimented crystal chandeliers with campfire lanterns, and installed artificial grass.
To get the evrgrn conversation started, we invited our influencer partners, along with a few guests of their choice, to stay a couple nights at the loft. Guests were encouraged to share their #BetterOutHere experience on social throughout the evening, while we shared content from the event on our own channels.
Next, to help continue the momentum and buzz on social, we challenged our social community to tell us why its #BetterOutHere for the opportunity to stay at the property during the following 2-4 weeks. In lieu of payment for their stay, fans must share their #BetterOutHere experience on social instead. Our own fans posted, Tweeted, and Instagrammed their way into the evrgrn conversation for a chance to win a weekend stay in the lfot. We caught the eye of one of Pinterest's leading influencers, Justina Blakeney (1.2M followers) who then helped us create a rich product catalog ont he platform where users could experience the evrgrn lifestyle and even buy products directly from our Pins.
The Finished REI Loft
On the official date of evrgrn launch, we invited bloggers, media, and influencers to stop by throughout the day to experience to house and evrgrn product for themselves. The event was a great success in that we were able to seed the #BetterOutHere hashtag with beautiful imagery from local influencers, which helped drive engagement around our social contest.
The REI Loft 2.0
We succeeded in getting a the target market in igniting the conversation around REI's new brand, which over time serves to build affinity for the parent brand.
10,200+ posts from fans across Instagram Twitter and Facebook
1.3 million engagements across Instagram and Facebook
65.4+ million total impressions
Our success in San Francisco's launch of the evrgrn Loft 1.0 enabled REI to create evrgrn community space at Wunder Garten in Washington, D.C.