We all say it: Summer goes by too quickly. So, L.L. Bean this summer is activating experiences designed to help consumers create and savor the moments—and, naturally, spend more time outdoors. The brand’s new fully integrated “S’more out of Summer” campaign involves pop-up campsites in cities across the country, activations at community events, digital extensions, partnerships with the National Parks Foundation and Uber, as well as a sweepstakes.
“One of the key pieces of information that we uncovered was that four out of five Americans believe that summer passes by too quickly, which is obviously not entirely surprising, but they really feel this sort of sense of urgency to get a lot of things done in a short period of time,” says Michele Martin, senior manager-brand amplification at L.L. Bean. “Going back to our mission of getting people outdoors more often together, we felt like this was a great opportunity to provide both an opportunity for people to do it and inspire a movement to get people doing it on their own as well.”
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The “S’more out of Summer” campsites popped up in New York City at The Battery on June 20 and Canalside in Buffalo, NY, on June 23. They will next pop up at The Forum and the Grove at the State Capitol in Madison, WI, on July 11; The Greenway in Boston on July 17; and at the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport, ME, July 20-21. The activations offer a cedar trellis entryway with opaque signage, hanging greenery and outdoor filament bulbs. Within the footprint, there are stations anchored by green patio umbrellas as well as a giant cylindrical roasting “pit” with a steel flames sculpture in the center, and a series of the brand’s Biolite FirePit camp stoves within it for consumers to roast their own marshmallows for s’mores. As an added visual treat, the graham crackers used to sandwich the s’mores on-site feature the L.L. Bean logo and “S’more out of Summer” campaign tagline.
Additional activities include yard games and challenges—like a sleeping bag roll-up challenge that has consumers stuffing sleeping bags into sacks (not an easy task). There is information on L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Program, which offers hikes, demos and activities through the summer, as well as the National Parks Foundation’s Parktracks experience, a booth where consumers sit down, put on noise-canceling headphones, and listen to the unique sounds of each of the country’s national parks.
To, err, boot, items from L.L. Bean’s Campfired Up collection of products are leveraged for the challenges and displayed on-site. But the pièce de résistance of the experience is a giant s’more photo op complete with largescale s’more sandwich signage and a five-foot-long marshmallow on a stick that consumers pose with alongside the directive, “Do it for the graham.” Components of the “S’more out of Summer” tour will also pop-up with the L.L. Bean Bootmobile as it travels to outdoor festivals and events through the summer.
Beyond the experiential components, L.L. Bean launched a “S’more out of Summer” microsite that offers summer tips and information about the campaign and tour. Retail stores on June 22 offered free s’mores, and, in a partnership with Amazon Alexa, L.L. Bean added a new “skill,” where consumers can ask for “S’more summer tips” and Alexa will provide suggestions for getting the whole family outside. Finally, through a partnership with Uber, consumers were able to enjoy free rides to the L.L. Bean campsites in key cities .
A summer sweepstakes is ongoing, where consumers can enter to win one of five Ultimate Backyard Campout prize packages complete with tents, sleeping bags, fire pits, camping attire and L.L. Bean experts to set it all up, by sharing a photo of how they are enjoying their summer on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and tagging #SmoreOutofSummer and #LLBeanContest2019.
“What we’re noticing is that this experience is providing what we were hoping to achieve, which is that simple moment of being outdoors and not making that something that is complicated or needing a lot of planning,” Martin says. “The environment is relaxed and people feel they’re getting a lot of out of the experience without having to do a lot.” Agency: Jack Morton Worldwide, Boston.
S’more scenes from the activations:
Photo courtesy: Diane Bondreff/AP Images for L.L.Bean