Getting S’more Out of Summer with L.L.Bean

L.L.Bean: ,

L.L.Bean’s mission is to make it easy to share the joy of the outdoors. But as a brand that’s most often thought of during the fall and winter months, they wanted to also highlight this mission in the warmer months.

So L.L.Bean turned to Jack to help raise their summer profile.

Together, we set out to unite their myriad summer initiatives with a single idea that would generate buzz, amplify reach, and inspire their audience – from toddlers to retirees – to get outside.

Summer is technically the longest season of the year, but it always feels like the shortest. In fact, 4 out of every 5 people feel that summer passes them by.

Our research showed that 3 out of 5 want to spend more time outside in summer. Yet, a mere 1 in 4 L.L.Bean customers participate in outdoor activities regularly. We needed to help change this behavior.

But before we could get people thinking about L.L.Bean’s summer products – camping gear, lawn games, and swimsuits – we had to get them outside.

So what was keeping people from getting outside more? A lack of time and motivation. We learned their favorite outdoor activities are cooking and eating (66%), hanging out (55%), and sitting by a campfire (44%). Very simple activities.

To help them get outside, we needed to make it easy. Very easy.

So we brought our backyard to them. And gave them a guide filled with fun things to do outside. Because making the most of a short season doesn’t have to be any harder than stepping into your own backyard.

S’more Out of Summer. As a leading outdoor lifestyle brand, L.L.Bean had one mission: help people get S’more Out of Summer.

We set out to help families and friends make summer memories, outdoors. Using the power of the s’more – an outdoor activity that our audience loves – we inspired them, serving up a rallying cry with season-long sticking power.

We thoughtfully removed every possible barrier by meeting people on their turf, doing the work for them, and effortlessly including summer products. Our backyard campsites seamlessly integrated everything from tents and sleeping bags to Adirondack chairs, fire pits, and of course, s’mores! More than 9,000, to be exact.

We hit the road, visiting music festivals and fairs. We kayaked, stand-up paddle boarded and even bird watched. Throughout the summer, we met over 47,000 people and spent more than 13,000 hours outside!

Here’s how we did it:

– We hosted s’mores-making pop-ups in four major cities, styled as backyard campsites complete with games, activities and irresistible photo ops. L.L.Bean’s iconic “Bootmobile” even got a s’moreified makeover for its nationwide mobile tour, serving up treats at fairs and festivals across the country.
– We amplified our message by inviting local and national press, as well as influencers and their families, to cook s’mores by our campfires. The pre-planned release of our “S’more Swatch” on National S’mores Day sparked friendly internet debate over the perfect marshmallow toastiness and garnered a lot of media attention.

– We created a Guide to getting S’more Out of Summer. This digitally and physically published book was handed out everywhere we went – pocket-sized and chock-full of prompts and games you could do outside and in your own backyard.

– We shared a series of tips, facts, and videos throughout the season, including outdoor motivation and thought starters on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Our photo contest awarded 5 lucky fans the ultimate backyard campout, in exchange for sharing and engagement.

– We partnered with Uber to offer free rides to our events – removing every last hurdle from getting outside. And for even more convenience, we turned our Guide into an Amazon Alexa skill.

The “S’more Out of Summer” platform united our audience, and L.L.Bean’s many summer initiatives. Our integrated approach made this L.L.Bean’s largest – and most successful – integrated brand engagement campaign of all-time.

Across every objective, S’more Out of Summer exceeded L.L.Bean’s expectations: