S'more Out Of Summer: L.L. Bean and National Park Foundation
Founded in 1912, L.L.Bean is one of the nation’s top outdoor retailers and is committed to being a brand focused on celebrating the shared joy of the outdoors. Unlike other outdoor brands that target the experienced or extreme adventurer, L.L.Bean is focused on the everyday ways people can enjoy the outdoors together, from their own backyard to a national park. L.L.Bean has a long history partnering with the National Park Foundation but in 2018, L.L.Bean signed on as a premier partner of the National Park Foundation’s (NPF) Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement. The goal of this partnership is to help make it easy for everyone to find the parks that are right in their backyard and make time outdoors an accessible goal for all Americans.
In a 2019 survey, L.L.Bean found that 4 out of 5 Americans reported they feel summer passes by them too quickly. In response, L.L.Bean sought to make summer more accessible by leveraging the iconic power of the s’more to unite and inspire people to get outside and make the most of warm weather, all while associating their brand with the warm feelings and activities of summer and launched the S’more out of Summer campaign.
S’more Out of Summer launched in June 2019, celebrating the idea that getting outside, especially in national parks, during the summer was easy and accessible to all. The campaign utilized a comprehensive and strategic approach to not only connect with L.L.Bean’s target audience but also engage them in a conversation about how to integrate the outdoors into their everyday life. S’more Out of Summer provided both a call-to-action and the tools and resources needed to enjoy the outdoors, allowing L.L.Bean to cultivate a strong affiliation between their brand and the fun and excitement of summer recreation.
The campaign hosted four urban s’more-making pop-ups, known as Backyard Campsites, in key L.L.Bean business markets—Buffalo (NY), Boston (MA), Madison (WI), and New York City (NY). Situated in downtown high-traffic areas, the pop-ups juxtaposed a traditional campfire against the hustle and bustle of city life to help capture attention and pique interest for greater attendee participation. The experience was also brought to life later in the summer on L.L.Bean’s Flagship campus in Freeport, ME. L.L.Bean created the activation to immerse attendees in a hands-on environment that helped them understand, appreciate, and relate to the brand and its products in a meaningful way. The Backyard Campsites featured elements that allowed attendees to interact with the brand’s products and values.
L.L.Bean and NPF teamed up to integrate Find Your Park’s ParkTracks installation, an innovative and immersive audio experience that brings the natural sounds of the national parks to the people to help them escape the “daily grind,” into the Backyard Campsite to educate attendees on nearby parks they may not have known about, reinforce the alignment between L.L.Bean and parks, and encourage people to take advantage of summer while it lasted by recreating outdoors.
In addition to the pop-up events, L.L.Bean hosted the S’more Tour featuring the company’s famed Bootmobile, which visited five outdoor festivals and events across the country and offered free Outdoor Discovery programing at local parks including family hikes, kids activities, and free kayak and paddleboard rentals. The S’more Tour also included an L.L.Bean-customized version of ParkTracks called Sounds of the National Parks, developed in conjunction with NPF to help attendees tune in to natural sounds. The Bootmobile tour allowed L.L.Bean to extend the reach and awareness of the S’more out of Summer campaign with less effort by plugging into existing large-scale events around the country.
Overall, the S’more out of Summer integrated marketing and experiential campaign achieved enormous success with Five Backyard Campsite Pop-Ups and five S’more Tour events at major outdoor festivals engaged over 40,000 participants who spent a combined 13,000 hours outside at our
In addition, 100,000 S’more Out of Summer guides were distributed in L.L.Bean retail stores and activations to encourage and inspire people to make the most of their summer outdoors.
Sixty-one percent of surveyed participants said they plan to do more outdoor summer activities and 80% of surveyed participants see L.L.Bean as a brand that can help them get more out of summer activities.
The S’more out of Summer tour helped raise awareness of NPF’s Find Your Park goals and partnership with L.L.Bean and America’s national parks. Through the integration of ParkTracks and the Sounds of the National Parks audio experiences into the Backyard Campsites and the S’more Tour, respectively, NPF and L.L.Bean connected people across the country with an immersive national park experience and provided resources to plan their own park adventure.