2013 Outdoor Industry Awards

The Outdoor Industry Awards, presented by Outdoor USA Magazine, celebrates those companies in the outdoor industry that excel in the design and implementation of innovative marketing and communications programs.

Each year, outdoor industry companies submit their best achievements belonging to the awards categories. From this pool, the Outdoor USA Magazine editorial team votes to establish nominees in each category. A jury of outdoor specialty retailers then votes to determine the winners.

Click on the category header to see the finalists.

Best Consumer Print Campaign

Marmot (2013 WINNER)

Campaign: Corporate
Description: Are you alive? When do you know it? The first question is easy. The second is not. Marmot believes every outdoor athlete wearing its enduring brand of gear has the answer to one question: “What gives you life?” This year, Marmot used the medical symbol of a heartbeat to dramatize these answers. The simple, universal mark places Marmot at the center of the outdoor experience. The striking contrast between the flat line and jolt of life crushes the mundane and provokes thought. To inspire more moments, print led to a video and photo contest for people to submit their answers.
Agency:
In-house

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Mammut

Campaign: Alpine Performance Collection Launch
Description: With only one week before the Swiss Iron Trail, fifteen ambitious athletes were selected to participate in Mammut's Testevent to launch the new trail running collection. Runners were kitted out in Mammut gear to test the new trail running product and took part in an exclusive photo shoot for our new global brand campaign. The highlight of the photo shoot was the unique Swiss location. Following Robert Bösch's instructions, the participants ran over the narrow trail on the Pers Moräine, against the backdrop of the imposing Piz Palü. This unique opportunity offered participants a sneak peak into the Swiss Irontrail and an amazing experience in the Bündner Alps of Switzerland.
Agency:
In-house

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Coghlan's

Campaign:
Coghlan's Outdoor Accessories
Description: The campaign centered around Coghlan's having an accessory for every type of outdoor excursion, whether it is back country camping or a backyard retreat. Thoughtful, innovative and indispensable. Coghlan's products come in handy for any type of situation….because you never know who used the picnic table before you!. The photo was purchased from istockphoto.com. The ad appeared in USA Today.
Agency:
In-house
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Best Trade Print Campaign

Gramicci (2013 WINNER)

Campaign: Winter Wonder Underlayer Launch
Description: With this campaign we really wanted to bring attention to the hemp presence in the garment, as this is what makes the garment perform. We also wanted to make ads that felt like Gramicci. Focusing on hemp opened up the idea of playing on performance and hemp in a tongue in cheek way.
Agency:
In-house

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Freewaters

Campaign: Corporate
Description: The concept of the campaign is to speak directly to retail buyers with real testimonials rather than the usual hype. The process involved seeding our new Therm-a-Rest footbed collection to respected industry media/product testers. After the testers published the reviews on media outlets, we inserted some quotes into the campaign. The large, clean product photography is intended to showcase the design features, textures, and detailing that can often be missed in an advertisement. Product is king! As a new brand, this approach helps us legitimize and validate the quality of our products with specialty retailers who may be reluctant to bring on a new brand. Specialty retailers are of vital importance to the growth and success of our brand as their customers are the core users, early adapters and trend setters.
Agency:
In-house

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LED Lenser

Campaign:
SEO Series Headlamps Hello There
Description: In 2013, LED Lenser was excited to launch a new series of lightweight, sport-focused headlamps - the SEO Series. These products have best in class technology, while at the same time are lightweight, comfortable and stylish. LED Lenser was a well known brand in Europe but not as much in the United States. Our goal with the HELLO THERE campaign was to catch the eye of American consumers with a visually striking image, engage their attention with a simple and straightforward message ("HELLO THERE"), and then wow users with SEO's technology and usability as they operated a SEO while enjoying their favorite outdoor activities.
Agency:
In-house
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Best PR Campaign

The North Face (2013 WINNER)

Campaign: Thermoball
Description: With a strong heritage of making authentic, technical and functional apparel, The North Face knew it had a strong product story to tell when it launched a revolutionary insulation technology called ThermoBall at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2013. Powered by Primaloft, the ThermoBall collection delivers the lightweight loft, warmth and compressibility of down, with the wet weather insulating performance of blown fiber. After generating strong initial buzz at the trade show and receiving a ‘Best in Show’ award from Gear Junkie, The North Face set out to educate consumers about this new alternative to down, while continuing to drive industry awareness.
The North Face team placed ThermoBall in national outlets such as TODAY Show and Popular Science, and also drove more than 700 placements in local publications via a holiday-themed matte release. ThermoBall products also garnered even more industry accolades, receiving the Backpacker Editor’s Choice Snow 2013 Award and being featured on the cover of the Outside Magazine Fall 2013 Gear Guide. Overall ThermoBall coverage this year has surpassed 22 million impressions.
Agency:
Inside Out PR / Finn Partners

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Polartec

Campaign: Alpha Insulation
Description: Polartec created the first-ever breathable puffy fabric, Polartec Alpha. Polartec Alpha was originally developed for U.S. Special Operations Forces with the purpose to provide active warmth that allows air exchange for breathability and comfort in more dynamic situations. To build awareness and create excitement for the consumer launch of Polartec Alpha, a product seeding effort was conducted to explain the innovative new “active warmth” technology. Polartec Alpha garments were strategically placed in the hands of media and influencers for testing in advance of the consumer launch. Next, a media trip to Polartec Scufoneda, a ski and snowboard festival in the Italian Dolomites, provided key journalists with an opportunity to test Polartec Alpha in some of the first product samples from Polartec’s partner brands, as part of a Polartec layering system. All of these efforts were a huge success for the company and the Polartec Alpha product, securing numerous awards from both trade and consumer media. Adoption of Polartec Alpha with partner brands will more than double for Fall 2014.
Agency:
Backbone Media

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Smith Optics

Campaign:
ChromaPop lens
Description: Smith Optics created a media kit to support the launch of Smith Optics new ChromaPop lens technology, to help demonstrate that "the Grass Really IS Greener". The kit included a pair of sunglasses, a patch of grass, a thumbdrive with all relevant information, printed cards supporting ChromaPop all in a beautifully design box and tray system. The media kit was mailed out to 250-300 members of the media in all channels: Sport, Optical, Fashion, Mainstream, Technology and beyond. ChromaPop has since been awarded gear of the year by numbers outlets including National Geographic, Runner's World, Gear Institute, etc.
Agency:
Akimbo Communications
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Best Digital Campaign

Patagonia (2013 WINNER)

Campaign: Black Friday
Description: On Black Friday, when deals and discounts entice people to buy more than they need, Patagonia sent an alternative message to its friends, family and customers, one that explores the quality of the things we own and the lives we live. To help drive that message home, the Malloy family (Patagonia Surf Ambassadors) produced Worn Wear, a short film to share the stories of Patagonia customers and their beloved Patagonia gear that has stood the test of time. No one had seen this film before the week leading up to Black Friday. Worn Wear is an exploration of quality — in the things we own and the lives we live.

This short film takes you to an off-the-grid surf camp in Baja, Mexico, a family's maple syrup harvest in Contoocook, Vermont, an organic farm in Ojai, California and into the lives of a champion skier, a National Geographic photographer, and a legendary alpinist. It also features exclusive interviews with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. Released as an antidote to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy, Worn Wear is an invitation to celebrate the stuff you already own.

In addition to premiering the film in 15 retail stores on Black Friday, Patagonia unveiled its new repair program with iFixit. Together, the companies have co-published a series of free repair guides for Patagonia clothing. Patagonia is the first apparel company to partner with iFixit in an effort to encourage customers to repair old products instead of buying new. Customers could visit the 15 select Patagonia Retail locations on Black Friday and receive help repairing an old Patagonia garment, in addition to sampling the new Patagonia California Route beer made by New Belgium Brewery. Patagonia will also sell an Expedition Sewing Kit (MSRP $30) in its retail stores and online, complete with a machined awl made of high-quality aluminum, heavy-duty needles, various selections of thread, and patch material.
Agency:
In-house

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Smartwool

Campaign: Socktober
Description: On October 4, 2013 exactly one year since releasing his first video on YouTube, internet sensation, Kid President (10-year-old Robby Novak) joined SmartWool to declare the month of October, Socktober. SmartWool announced the partnership with Kid President via its social media channels, just days after declaring October National Sock Month, launching the first-ever Socktober retail campaign at hundreds of stores nationwide. The two entities combined forces with the goal of engaging one million Americans to help the homeless during the month of October. “Kid President is a remarkable force for good,” says SmartWool president, Mark Satkiewicz. “SmartWool’s history of advocacy aligns perfectly with Kid President’s goals for Socktober and we’re grateful to be involved.” In support of Kid President’s mission, and on behalf of 300+ participating Socktober dealers, SmartWool donated 3,000 pairs of socks to homeless shelters around the country while encouraging Socktober dealers to solicit sock donations for local outreach organizations. The hashtag #Socktober was also created for the campaign, helping stir a social media trending phenomenon, drawing the attention of NBA player, Kyle Kover, who joined in the efforts to raise awareness and help the homeless. Together, Kid President and SmartWool helped make October a month to remember.
Agency:
Backbone Media

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Chaco

Campaign:
Tan Photo Contest
Description: The 2013 Chaco Tan Photo Contest was an incredible success, generating over 2300 photo entries – nearly double the prior year’s total. Named for the distinctive tan line created by wearing Chaco's iconic Z sandal, the photo contest celebrates “Chaconian” (Chaco lovers) pride and adventures. The contest ran on the Chaco website (chacos.com) and was supported through social, email, blog, and banner promotions. The six-week annual contest kicked off in late July with a blog entry on professional photography tips and was subsequently promoted on social spaces more than one hundred times using entries from the contest as they happened. Judged on originality and creativity, three lucky winners took home DLSR cameras and Chaco product as prizes, giving them a jump on next year’s contest!
Agency:
In-house
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Best Cause Campaign

Camelbak (2013 WINNER)

Campaign: Ditch Disposable
Description: CamelBak is proud to announce that our Ditch Disposable Mission was successful in offsetting over 1,000,000 disposable plastic water bottles worth of water in 2013 through our Free Freshly Filtered Water Stations at music festivals. We've made it our mission to pioneer sustainable hydration solutions to help people hydrate while reducing the impact on our planet. In 2013 we continued our mission by partnering with 6 large scale music/lifestyle festivals to provide Free Freshly Filtered Water to all festival goers. Our mission has taken us to Hangout Fest in Alabama, Governors Ball in NYC, Forecastle Festival in Louisville, all domestic stops for the Wanderlust Series, Lollapalooza in Chicago, and Austin City Limits in Austin! At each festival CamelBak provides multiple Hydration Stations staffed with friendly volunteers who will fill any & all re-usable vessels. Each station is also equipped with a water flow meter that allows us to calculate how much water is poured so we can track the number of disposable plastic water bottles saved!
Agency:
In-house

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ExOfficio

Campaign: 15-year partnership with World Concern
Description: ExOfficio supports efforts around the globe dedicated to exploring the world responsibly. We partner with organizations that tread lightly upon the earth, keep an open mind, and contribute in a positive ways to the ecosystems they visit and inhabitants they meet. We are proud to support organizations such as World Concern. World Concern responds quickly and effectively in disaster zones to bring aid—including food and emergency supplies—to impoverished communities around the world. ExOfficio provides staff uniforms and donates thousands of clothing items to those in need.

In celebration of our 2013 25th Anniversary and our 15-year partnership with World Concern we developed “Destination Kenya: Made to Experience Giveaway.” This was an on-line social contest in which one Grand Prize winner and a guest receive an all-expenses paid 10-day trip to Western Kenya, completely outfitted in ExOfficio gear. The trip included participation in World Concern’s mission, visiting remote communities of the region to provide education and assistance, delivering new ExOfficio uniform shirts to the staff in Africa, and going on a safari. The goal of the campaign was to raise awareness for the work of World Concern and to encourage sustainable travel that respects and preserves the diverse cultures and natural environments that travelers have the privilege of experiencing. The campaign captured an additional 3,000 Facebook followers on the ExOfficio page and over 500,000 impressions for World Concern and their good work.

Below is a quote about the trip from winner and Hawaii-resident: “The trip turned out to be more about the people than the place. I had some pretty remarkable encounters with ExOfficio and the local World Concern staffers. The best times for me were the encounters with the families and school kids in the two villages we saw. These folks struck me as happy as the Hawaiians that I deal in my "normal" life. Some part of that happiness I'm sure derives from the World Concern projects around them. The kids were learning written Swahili in school just like me! This is the first generation in those villages with equal numbers of boys and girls in school. The safari was as much fun for the company as the wildlife. And the wildlife was spectacular. I got a chance to see how well the ExOfficio product "fit" into that experience. All in all, it was a wonderful few days.”
Agency:
In-house

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Tubbs Snowshoes

Campaign:
Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer Anniversary
Description: Tubbs Snowshoes is committed to fighting breast cancer on all fronts. By creating the Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer Snowshoe Series in 2003 and forming partnerships with two of the world’s leading breast cancer organizations, together we have helped fuel groundbreaking, global breast cancer research, as well as fund community-based breast health screenings, treatment and education. While Rompers come in all ages, genders, and sizes, from the first time showshoer to the weekend snowshoe warrior, we all have one end goal in mind – to live in a world without breast cancer.

Each Romp event offers participants a morning full of activities including the opportunity to try out Tubbs demo snowshoes on groomed 3k or 5k snowshoe courses, join in the Lil Romper Dash (for Rompers 12 and under), pick up fun goody bags, high-five TubbScout (our snowshoe-loving mascot) and win great prizes from our sponsors at the awards ceremony. Top racers and fundraisers leave with arms full of gear and awards from our partners as a small token of appreciation for their dedication to fundraising for the cause. 

Together we are stomping out breast cancer one snowshoe step at a time and having a blast while doing it! The Romp to Stomp series has raised $2.57 million dollars for Susan G. Komen and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation since its inception in 2003.
Agency:
In-house
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Best In-store Display

Chaco (2013 WINNER)

Campaign: Corporate
Description: The 2013 refresh of the Chaco visual merchandising program (VMP) was designed to elevate Chaco brand awareness, amplify the in-store experience, and provide Chaco retailers with multiple high-quality, versatile, and durable footwear display options. Based on a concept that evokes the way Chaco’s classic sandal webbing straps lay across the foot, the new VMP program improves the display of Chaco product with an ownable look and feel that creatively distinguishes the brand. The new pieces use rich wood, brilliant metal, and sturdy construction to create a program of enduring value for retailers while being simple to ship, assemble, and install. The program provides options for all retail environment–slatwall, stand alone placement, and table display–and is built to be adaptable, with or without brand graphic signage. More than one thousand pieces have been installed throughout the U.S. and around the world since the program’s debut in May.
Agency:
The Carlson Group

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Gramicci

Campaign: Winter Wonder Underlayer
Description: The Winter Wonder Underlayer is part of our Natural Performance Technology collection, meaning the fabric in these garments are grown free of toxic farming chemicals, as well as free of any add-on performance treatments. The hemp provides performance properties naturally, while the presence of organic cotton keeps the garments soft. That's a lot to get across in one fell swoop, especially in an intriguing way. This was our challenge: the packaging needed to speak to the naturally occurring technology found in these products, but at the same time be Gramicci - free spirited, outdoor inspired and art driven. 

We paired with a graphic artist by the name of Sean Zingelewicz for the project. Sean was also able to translate our ideas of an "outdoor-inspired-pop-art-mountain-range-meets-performance-technology" into the packaging for product. Currently, all of our W.W. Underlayer products are shipped in the tubes. Purple is for the women's products and Blue is for the men's products. Both the exterior, as well as the interior are branded. We paired the packaging with a new fixture: a 2 way, reclaimed wood set with a wall of elongated metal pegs made to hang the tubes. The backside of the fixture has the option of a hanging bar, so the retailer can display (on hangers) a full size run, in a variety of colors, of the product to see, touch and eventually try on before they make their purchase.
Agency:
Trackstar

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The North Face

Campaign:
Thermoball
Description: The North Face developed a branded Pop-up-Shop at the REI's Denver Flagship store to support the House of Brands pilot test and elevate The North Face's brand presence around ThermoBall.
Agency:
In-house
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Best Product Packaging

Brunton

Campaign: Pocket Transits
Description: When we sat down to redesign our brand experience at retail this year, we first looked back to our heritage. Brunton Pocket Transits have been the ultimate instrument for field professionals for more than 100 years. It’s still true today. So just as the creative anatomy of our brand mark/emblem draws inspiration from the Transit’s timeless legacy, the shape of our upgraded product packing upon that heritage. The cut-corners and irregular angles draw attention in crowded retail space, and differentiates Brunton from our competitors by giving a sense of our history and story. But at the same time, we’ve used a color pallet and graphical textures to reflect a degree of modernism that is virile and aggressive: powerful and young. Also, since many of Brunton’s products exist in the emerging outdoor power space, we wanted retail packaging that clearly communicates exactly what the product is and what particular need it addresses. Finally, we’ve started using pencil sketch ‘hero’ imagery from all walks of the outdoor and action sports worlds because everyone needs power, and Brunton delivers it better than anyone else.
Agency:
In-house

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Implus Corporation

Campaign: Sof Sole
Description: This year, Sof Sole rebranded its packaging and re-launched its website in order to provide customers with a modern, intuitive shopping experience. Insoles, socks and shoe care were rebranded into sleek black packaging with easy-to-read features and benefits, making it simple for retail associates to reference information needed to educate customers. The new Sofsole website features product matrices to help consumers select what product is right for them by selecting their activities, arch type, foot ailments and more. Through digital and print campaigns, Sof Sole was able to highlight the updated packaging that includes a new signature swoosh, yet still features the color differentiation between men’s and women’s products. The consistent color and design themes that carry over between ads, the website, packaging and collateral have allowed Sof Sole to create a cohesive plan to stand out from the crowd.
Agency:
Adventure Creative

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Smith Optics (2013 WINNER)

Campaign:
ChromaPop
Description: Smith Optics developed special packaging to support the launch of it's new ChromaPop lens technology. The packaging helps to illustrate the clarity and color vibrance that is visible with ChromaPop lenses. The packaging is an extension to support the media kits that were distributed during the launch of the lens and includes a neon green box, hard case and vibrantly colored microfiber sunglass bag.
Agency:
In-house
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