Just before the holidays, REI released its first-ever TV advertisements - two spots that depart from typical outdoor gear marketing that show products as heroes and outdoor enthusiasts as superheroes. Designed to inspire sales during the holiday season, they actually inspired a first-ever "generational face-off" blog post from the Creating Results team: will REI's new TV ads connect with Baby Boomers and beyond?
The REI Holiday TV AdsBoth new spots feature intergenerational groups. In one, a group of hikers (including a sixty-something gent) wait for the rain to stop under a rocky ledge. In the other, a mother and daughter enjoy a meal of peanut butter sandwiches on a cold mountaintop. Both depict the outdoors as perhaps a little wet, cold or uncomfortable but still fun. Holiday Hikers/Just Add Water (cave) Mountain View/4-Star Dining Tom Vogl, REI vice president of marketing, says "We hope viewers find them inviting, fun and authentic..." Dan Neil of the LA Times says "I think the retailer just walked off a cliff." What did our team have to say?
She Said: Boomers Love the Outdoors, Won’t Love these AdsIt’s only right that Kathy East, VP of Client Services Director and a Baby Boomer herself, starts our generational face-off.
What a missed opportunity! And worse than that … The elders in both spots are TOTALLY IGNORED! I'm not feeling all warm and fuzzy about that co-op I joined 35 years ago in Seattle. Yes, 35 years ago when I was 2 years old 20 years old.