SURROUND 2017 – “Don’t think about GORE-TEX®"
Everyone’s heard of GORE-TEX® and almost everyone knows it keeps you dry, but a google search for ‘waterproof jacket’ returns almost 5 million results. Therein lies the challenge; GORE-TEX® is an ‘ingredient’ brand, not a finished consumable product, the brand is mainly associated with functionality and consumers often misattribute GORE-TEX® technologies to competitor products which they perceive to be just as good. Our task was therefore to make GORE-TEX® a brand buying criteria by building an emotional connection beyond functionality and differentiating the brand, giving it a clear profile to stand out from its competitors. Ultimately this would drive retail sales of GORE-TEX® products - big ambitions on a budget of £240k.UK
£240k wouldn’t even scratch the surface in a market that spends an annual £46 million on advertising, to get noticed we needed to be disruptive. GORE-TEX® is the enabler, it allows people to experience total freedom of mind by providing best in class protection and ultimate comfort. This product truth was the springboard for our big idea – to build a high impact brand experience and then use this to create engaging content to deliver further reach through paid and earned digital channels.
From this the GORE-TEX® brand 5D experience was born - a technologically advanced and unique experience where consumers could actually try the product in simulated outdoor conditions.
Along with a little bravery from GORE-TEX®, audience insight was at the heart of our convincing the client to move away from standard outdoor formats into an experiential activation, amplified through social channels. Three core audiences were identified: Independent Explorers, Enthusiast Families and Cosmopolitan Adventurers. All were very different in terms of passions, lifestyle and life stage but had two major things in common – their busy lifestyles and their prevalence in London – one of the world’s most marketed to cities where the average inhabitant is bombarded by over 3,500 messages a day.
Based on heat map analysis of the audience and retailer presence, we identified Westfield, Shepherds Bush as the centrepiece for our campaign and dominated the mall for 3 days with the 5D experience. Through 360° projections, participants were clad in GORE-TEX® gear, transported to two amazing UK locations (Malham Cove, Yorkshire and Henrhyd Falls, Wales) and immersed in the atmosphere by interactive weather systems including wind and mist.
Key footwear retail partner Ecco provided product for displays and brand ambassadors. For data capture every participant was entered into a competition to win GORE-TEX® footwear. An e-mail followed with their photo of the experience, prompting them to share through social channels to double their chances of winning.
We created an online content hub to further amplify the experience into the digital space and developed additional bespoke content for each of the three audiences to continue the conversation and create longevity. Content from the three days was seeded through paid channels, such as YouTube to gain further reach.
Over the course of the 3 days:
- Reach at Westfield was 229,160
- 327 individuals actually participated in the event and
- 470 sets of data were captured
89% said they would share the experience with someone else demonstrating significant ‘earned’ amplification and there was an 11% uplift in product consideration post experience.
Most importantly the campaign delivered against the key objective of making GORE-TEX® a brand buying criteria. Google trends analysis demonstrated a surge in demand over the three days of the event, but crucially there was a significant impact on sales. If we take Westfield alone, like-for-like sales of Gore-tex® products in the Ecco store increased by 45% year-on-year. Furthermore, the extended reach of the activity delivered 22% growth in the wider London area and 14% UK wide.
"We wanted consumers to interact with our brand in a meaningful way, and make it their brand. Adding the experiential element into a predominantly digital campaign made that more likely and provided a hub around which all the channels, with their respective roles, could orbit."Murray Macadam Marketing Associate at GORE-TEX®