LL Bean takes over Boston with extensive out of home campaign inviting people outdoors

Be an Outsider takeover at the Back Bay Station

Heritage outdoor clothier LL Bean is urging residents and commuters in Boston to ‘Be an Outsider’ with an out of home takeover of the city’s busy Back Bay Station.

During the month-long campaign, over 160 units plus 20 digital units urging people to enjoy the outdoors will greet commuters as they go through the station.

The Freeport, Maine-based retailer worked with the Via Agency from Portland, Maine to put together the campaign, and it’s one that will appeal to fans of Boston’s biggest events – the Boston Marathon and the Red Sox opening day.

The 'Be an Outsider' ads – a campaign launched last year – draw connections between commuting and getting outside in a fun and playful way, and doing a takeover in Boston makes sense for the New England brand.

“We love Boston. LL Bean is New England, and there’s a lot going on in Boston in April,” said Brad Matson, senior vice president of brand communications at LL Bean. “We’re opening an urban store in Seaport, [Mass.] so this is perfect timing for us. We wanted to make a statement in Boston…with this ‘Station domination’.”

The Red Sox opening day ads will point out that “Sox and boots belong together,” and feature photos of Fenway stadium with the Red Sox pair of socks logo and Bean boots, bringing together two iconic New England brands.

Another set of creative for the Boston Marathon declares the retailer’s famous Bean boots “the official spectator shoe of marathons everywhere,” and encourages runners to slip into some of LL Bean's cozy Wicked Good slippers after they cross the finish line.

In addition to the physical ads throughout the station and at the turnstiles, the campaign encourages people to interact with the campaign through Foursquare by having them click to find the closest public outdoor space to them through geotargeting.

Putting together such a massive outdoor campaign took a lot of coordination between the creative teams, including where to place the ads.

“We want to make it as contextual as we can, welcoming you back to the outdoors [after winter]. We looked at every individual unit and tried to craft the creative to where you are within the station. You’re not going to see same ad over and over again,” said Amos Goss, executive creative director at the Via Agency.

Added Dan Bailin, director of client strategy at the Via Agency: “A ton of placements…is no easy feat. The power is in the visual and tonal vernacular. It’s about bringing friends and family into the outdoors. We were allowed to use the whole station as a tableau.”

Matson said that LL Bean came up with a brand engagement team to work with Via to create more brand expressions such as the takeover and promoting the brand as a leader in the outdoor category. “We want to show the joy of the outdoors and product differentiation. It’s a balance of the two – how you can connect with Bean and why the products are different,” he said.

On the campaign, Bailin stated: We want people to think of LL Bean as an outdoor brand, and this campaign is championing a shared joy of outdoors.” He said that could be something as simple as eating lunch outside and just putting more outdoors in your day. It’s as attainable in a city like Boston as it is in Freeport, Maine. We want people to know we’re all about them enjoying the outdoors.”

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