Retail brand Life is Good, whose goal is to spread positivity through its happy face logo and charitable missions, is known for its proprietary events like the Life is Good Festival held in its home state of Massachusetts. But this past fall, the brand shifted gears, going back to its roots by taking its message on the road.
For eight weeks, from Sept. 11 to Oct. 26, the mobile Life is Good Airstream trailer and activation visited 14 cities and in the process provided more than $1 million for kids in need through the Life is Good Kids Foundation. Founders (and brothers) Bert and John Jacobs started the company by selling t-shirts out of a van on a pseudo mobile tour. To bring that brand story full circle, the two took the helm again, making appearances on-site at the tour stops.
Life is Good aligned the tour with a variety of events, from the St. Jude Walk in San Francisco to Taste of the Nation Chicago to Austin City Limits, the Boys and Girls Club Boston and Hallmark Headquarters. The activation footprint scaled bigger or smaller depending on the tour stop, offering interactive photo opportunities including an animated GIF station, fund-raising gifts and games like giant Jenga and Cornhole, as well as the signature installation—an eight-foot-tall gratitude jar where consumers could write on a large plastic ball what they were grateful for and toss it in.
In addition to the activities, inside the Airstream consumers could purchase Life is Good retail items or specialty co-branded shirts from nonprofits and groups the brand partnered with for the tour. One-hundred-percent of profits from merchandise in the trailer helped kids in need. Along the way, for every use of the hashtag #GROWthegood, Life is Good donated $1 to kids in need. In addition to a tour microsite documenting the Airstream’s movements, the brand enlisted community influencers to spread the word on social media, push out market-specific content on local heroes and take advantage of unexpected celebrity visits to the Airstream during major events.
“Doing a tour event strategy across the country was a completely new tactic for us and our objectives were to obviously reach new audiences and people who haven’t engaged with us on a one-on-one level but also to make people aware of the social mission and social work that we do—Life is Good has both a for-profit and a not-for-profit arm and we thought that doing a tour would be a great way to tie those two together,” says Lisa Tanzer, Interim Head of Marketing at Life is Good. Agency: Inspira Marketing Group, Norwalk, CT. Build: Craftsmen Industries, St. Charles, MO.