- Retailer L.L. Bean is partnering with ride-hailing company Uber on a series of summer-themed events to help people make the most of the season. The "S'More Out of Summer" campaign was inspired by a survey that found four out of five Americans think summer passes too quickly and more than half don't have time to enjoy it, according to a company announcement.
- L.L. Bean is offering free Uber rides, valued up to $15, to campsite pop-ups in several major cities including New York and Boston. The free events will include summer activities such as roasting s'mores, yard games, an audio experience from the National Park Foundation and an Alexa skill that's activated by the command "S'more Summer Tips" for suggestions on outdoor activities. The S'More Tour will include additional stops featuring L.L. Bean's Bootmobile, which resembles its iconic duck boot.
- The campaign's social media contest gives people a chance to win an "ultimate backyard campout." To enter, fans must share a photo of how they enjoy summer on Instagram, Twitter or L.L. Bean's Facebook page with the hashtags #SmoreOutofSummer and #LLBeanContest19.
L.L. Bean's summer-themed campaign is a multichannel effort that combines experiential activations, social media and voice interactions on Alexa-powered devices. By offering free Uber rides to its pop-up events, L.L. Bean can reinforce the brand's image as an outfitter for folks who enjoy outdoors activities such as camping or playing backyard games. The campaign also reaches beyond the company's flagship store in Freeport, Maine, that hosts live events every summer. Mastercard this year is sponsoring L.L. Bean's "Summer in the Park" celebration that includes live concerts, open-air movies, food trucks and festivals that urge tourists to visit the store and shop for outdoor gear.
The collaboration with Uber is another indication of how the ride-hailing giant seeks to expand its customer base by partnering with businesses that want more foot traffic. Uber in April launched a program that lets retailers, restaurants and event organizers offer free rides to customers through Uber Vouchers. Dining chain TGI Fridays, concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment and mall operator Westfield this month became initial partners in the program.
L.L. Bean is among the brands that have run social media contests to urge people to participate in campaigns and directly engage with the brand online. Contests can give marketers widespread reach for a comparably small investment as people organically spread the word among friends, family and followers. Busch, JetBlue, Saucony and T.J. Maxx this year also have run contests on social platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.