The holiday season is officially here! Our shopping lists are piling up and many of us are starting to get consumed in the consumerism. Holiday shoppers have strategically planned and executed their shopping schedules for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, though some companies caught the public off guard and took a completely different, rebellious approach. The main campaign that caught my attention and made my PR ears perk up was REI’s #OptOutside campaign.
The outdoor gear and sporting goods company opted-out of Black Friday this year and encouraged both their employees and customers to, instead of shopping, enjoy the outdoors with loved ones. They closed their stores, gifted their employees with paid time off and announced that they will not be partaking in any discounts or sales on their website.
As a result, REI obtained (and continues to obtain) an enormous amount of press over the #OptOutside campaign; it’s extremely impressive and actually downright genius from my PR professional’s point-of-view. It’s an out-of-the-box, yet positive campaign that as a consumer (and part-time shopaholic) is now making me rethink what I want to do during the holidays. REI has thus shown their true colors by staying authentic to what the company is based on. Not only are they getting amazing press and media coverage, but they will also rack in sales because of it. When everyone decides to go for their hike, they’re naturally going to need some gear…from REI. I’m catching myself falling into their thoughtful PR and marketing scheme as well (yes, I said it). I spent Black Friday in the Canadian mountains and you can bet that I had my new Soloman skiis along for the adventure!
Did you decide to #OptOutside? Share your stories with us in a comment below.