The pandemic greatly influenced demand for outdoor products, creating the perfect opportunity for Atmosphere, one of Quebec’s top outdoor equipment retailers, to increase its overall sales.

Camping category sales increased

Increase in in-store sales
Increase in online sales
Reached campers
2 000 000

Reconcile camping veterans with newly initiated

In Summer 2021, when the pandemic closed borders, the Canadian province of Quebec saw a surge in tourism, mainly through outdoor activities such as camping. Forced to vacation closer to home, this trend created a new wave of campers, who were discovering camping for the first time. To guide us, we recognized a growing tension between camping veterans and the newly initiated.

On one hand, veterans feel “invaded” by new campers. They think they leave equipment stores empty, take all the space in the parks, and don’t understand common camping etiquette (e.g. don’t leave any waste behind!).

On the other hand, new campers feel intimidated, as camping has a high barrier of entry. There’s a lot to learn, equipment is expensive and, as newbies, they feel excluded from the bigger camping community.

However, we spotted one thing that all campers have in common: rituals. From memories of cold spaghetti meals to hiking trips rewarded with S’mores by the fire, rituals can be created by anyone with no barrier to entry -- you can have one whether you’ve been camping for weeks or years, or your tent costs $50 or $500.

Share the rituals

While Atmosphere’s competitors would be focussed on the functional and rational attributes of their camping gear, such as assortment, expertise, and pricing, we would tap into the most powerful emotional association there is: memories.

We would unite experienced and new campers by encouraging veterans to pass on their rituals to the newly initiated – a transfer of knowledge, experience, and inspiration that would allow the next generation of campers to begin their adventures and, as a result, become ‘real’ campers.

3-step Execution


Step 1: Connecting with veterans

To reach experienced campers, first, we partnered with ‘Salut Bonjour’, one of Quebec’s top morning TV shows. We conceived an integrated activation where the show host asked his audience to share their top camping rituals on a social post, which gathered hundreds of comments and shared videos in only a few days. These user-generated rituals were then broadcast on the morning show, reaching over 290,000 viewers. On top of the activation, we launched a user-generated campaign and contest on Atmosphere’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, inviting participants to submit their own rituals via photos or videos.

Step 2: Understanding newbies

In phase two, we targeted new campers, leveraging key data signals to build a customized audience segment for “new campers”. We collected data from keyword searches related to camping beginners (eg. “Top 10 camping essential gear”) and tracked Google Analytics signals based on the type of products they purchased (e.g. entry-level products). We also tracked location-based signals to see where these people were coming from (e.g. in the vicinity of the Quebec province or beyond).

Step 3: Passing on the knowledge

Finally, we closed the sales loop by retargeting these “new campers” with specific Atmosphere products related to the most common rituals, which tapped into the objective of showing what a wide range of products Atmosphere held.

A succesful campaign

Festival of Media Global
Best campaign for a local brand
Prix Idéa

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