In the summer of 2021, with the closure of borders due to the pandemic, Quebec saw an increase in tourism in its own province, particularly through outdoor activities, including camping. This trend created a new wave of campers, discovering the activity for the first time.
We realized that there was a deep-rooted hatred between camping veterans and these new campers, who were stealing their place, their peace and quiet, and above all emptying the stock shelves in their favorite stores. Atmosphere was faced with the challenge of how to attract the newcomers without losing the camping veterans who were already customers.
To solve this problem, we had to find a solution that would reconcile these two segments - and from this stemmed our insight: whether you're a new or old camper, and regardless of your experience, there's one thing that unifies us all: camping rituals. From memories of frozen spaghetti, to board games in the tent when it's raining, to hikes rewarded with smore's by the fire, all these rituals are things that everyone can relate to, and more importantly, that everyone can create for themselves, whether their tent costs $100 or $1,000.
Our strategy was to put our veterans at the center of our campaign and empower them to educate newcomers through ritual sharing. This transfer of knowledge was intended to bridge the gap between the two segments, while providing new initiates with the knowledge they needed to start their own rituals, and ultimately equip themselves at Atmosphere.
Step 1: Connecting with veterans
In the first phase of the strategy, we had to start strong to encourage as much ritual sharing as possible among camping veterans. First, we encouraged them to share their own camping rituals on social networks via a campaign hashtag, which was promoted by a photo rally and several contests. Then, to expand the reach of this UGC activation, we invited them to share their rituals on one of Quebec's biggest morning shows: Salut Bonjour. We reached over 290,000 Quebecers on the show, and several dozen rituals were shared.
Step 2: Understanding newbies
The second phase was our biggest challenge: how to identify and define this segment of "new initiates"? So we tried to put ourselves in their shoes - what does a new insider do at the campsite? Where should I start my research? What equipment would I need? Where are the best places to get away to nature (but not too far or too wild)? What are the most suitable (and least expensive) products? We then built a tailor-made audience based on user data such as SEM keywords ("camping essentials", "how to build a fire"¸ etc.), behavior signals on the Atmosphere site (consulting articles for beginners), and national park location signals (user located in an "amateur" park).
Step 3: Passing on the knowledge
Finally, we closed the loop by retargeting "new campers" with products corresponding to each ritual in order to showcase our wide range of products, and ultimately generate sales. For example, someone who had engaged with a specific recipe ritual was retargeted with a camping kitchen kit.