Background: As the nation’s largest outdoor company, the REI Co-op believes that a life outdoors is a life well lived – for all people.
Challenge: While REI Co-op membership was evenly split between men and women, REI acknowledged a lack of female representation and diversity when it came to consumer-facing images, heroes and stories. Within the outdoor industry, these were dominated by a certain type – fit, white, 6 feet tall, burly and bearded. When female, she was usually young, blond and white.
Strategy: In order to connect with a more diverse audience, REI committed to leveling the playing field
in the outdoors. We put women front and center for an entire year and set out to change the way the outdoor industry markets to people.
Creative Solution: Adopt the term "Force of Nature" to mean women who boldly claim their space in the outdoors. And together, turn this space into The Largest Level Playing Field on Earth. We launched with the film below on social media platforms, encouraging people to opt out of cliché gender stereotypes in the outdoors. And invited them to join in on more than 1000 REI events and classes designed to get more women outside.
• 341+ million media impressions across national and regional outlets in 3 months
• 45 million social impressions.The launch video set an all-time record for organic reach.
• More than 100 earned media placements in print, online and broadcast
• The initial launch saw a 26% increase in full-price women’s business. The girls line jumped by 30%. Since Force of Nature, the women’s business has continued to outpace men’s.
• 48,000 women participated in new REI outdoor events, classes and experiences
• Other outdoor brands quickly followed suite and committed to more diversity in their advertising and marketing messaging.
We turned the spring product catalog into a editorial publication explaining the initiative
and telling inspiring stories about women changing the outdoor industry.
(Click below to look inside.)
DIGITAL & MOBILE EXAMPLES
IN-STORE & OUT OF HOME
The bandana was designed to be the symbol of the initiative. Thousands wore it with
pride and tagged themselves and their friends as #ForceOfNature in social media.
THE FORCE OF NATURE BANDANA
REI partnered with Outside agazine with their women-led May
edition featuring female icons of the outdoors.
OUTSIDE MAGAZINE PARTNERSHIP
In 2017 more than 40,000 people joined in REI Force of Nature outdoor events,
classes and experiences created to help get women outside.
EVENT RECAP VIDEO
We partnered with artists passionate about the mission and
designed limited edition Force of Nature products.
PRINT & POSTERS
EXAMPLES OF CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT
Partnership credits include:
Simson Chantha & Shyla Lindsay – AD's / designers
Angela Reid & Stacy Cooke – copywriters
Joel Estegaard – design support
Andreea Niculescu – strategist
Laura Swapp – business owner