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REI bolsters winter gear sales via interactive mobile campaign

December 27, 2011

Outdoor apparel and accessories retailer REI is running a rich-media interactive mobile ad campaign that lets consumers shop for winter gear no matter where they are.

The company is running the rich media campaign on The Weather Channel’s mobile site. Additionally, media agency OMD Chicago, creative agency BBDO Atlanta and Crisp Media helps executive the campaign.

“With this campaign, we were looking to achieve a couple key objectives for REI and OMD,” said Pranav Pandit, director of Ignition Factory at OMD.

“Innovation was a strong driver in developing this opportunity and unique ad execution,” he said. “Given it’s ‘never been done before’ status, we put REI and OMD at the forefront of mobile innovation as we have done for several clients.

“Beyond that, we looked to drive awareness and engagement for REI during the holiday shopping season.”

Next level
According to The Weather Channel, the REI campaign is a custom, first-ever rich media execution taking mobile Web to the next level.

The REI campaign features a pre-expandable animated takeover.

The mobile campaign lets consumers swipe the mobile device screen to wipe away the snow where they then see a microsite.

The microsite features the REI logo and encourages users to gear up with free shipping.

There, consumers can also shop for winter gear, as well as replay the rich-media execution.

If consumers tap on the shop button, they are redirected to REI’s mobile site where they can find the nearest store, search for a specific item or shop for friends and family.

“With the creative expertise of BBDO Atlanta and Crisp Media, we’ve created a unique, engaging, and highly relevant mobile ad experience for the REI/The Weather Channel audience that utilizes capabilities of the newest iOS and Android operating systems with regards to the mobile Web,” Mr. Pandit said.

“Not only is The Weather Channel audience a great fit for REI’s message, this campaign shows their commitment to driving innovation in the retail space,” he said.

Natural tie-in
This has been a big year in mobile for REI.

The company has done a lot in the mobile space.

Most recently, REI used an augmented reality application to let consumers win prizes and drive in-store traffic to its new New York location.

The “Find Out NYC” REI campaign used iPhone and Android apps to let users unlock content on out-of-house signage around New York (see story).

The current Weather Channel initiative is creative and leverages REI’s natural tie-in with weather.

The ad auto-initiates, so the user does not have to click on a banner – it comes up automatically.

However, The Weather Channel has put a frequency cap in place so it will not launch too often and risk becoming annoying to the user.

“Mobile usage, smartphones particularly, has changed the way consumers shop and interact with brands,” Mr. Pandit said. “It’s a must that retailers embrace the medium and provide not only unique experiences for their customers, but utility as well.

“REI has recently revamped and upgraded their mobile website and is heading into year two of maintaining a highly successful shopping app,” he said.

“REI and OMD look to build upon 2011 efforts while continuing to test and learn on new platforms in 2012.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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