Merrell is blazing a new trail with Dick’s Sporting Goods (DSG), in a new campaign that broadens the notion of hiking to attract younger, more urban consumers who shop at DSG.
Video and graphic ads on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube support three new models available at DSG – MOAB Flight, Nova and Antora 2 – that bridge the gap between sneakers and traditional hiking boots.
“Take a Hike,” created by Merrell agency Blue Chip, extends the sense of adventure to more everyday places. A 30-second spot invites people to hike “through concrete jungles and through forested ones, to the top of a hill and to the top floor. Hike through rivers and city puddles.” With the three new models available at DSG, the voiceover intones, you can “hike anywhere.”
A 15-second treatment leads with the shoes by name, while a 6-second version jumps from a closeup of the shoes as hikers step on a rock to a couple walking a stage with a forest and then a city backdrop. It closes with a shoe splashing through a puddle on concrete. The voiceover is to the point: “Take a hike. Anywhere. With Merrell. Available at Dick’s Sporting Goods.”
“How people experience and demonstrate ‘hiking’ has changed over the years to be more inclusive of more outdoor spaces,” said Garrett McGuire, Director, Retail Marketing at Merrell. “It’s much more than the classic notion of woods and mountains, but also city blocks and parks. The consumers we’re connecting with in this campaign are is a new generation of outdoor athletes who want to hit their trail with confidence. We’re looking forward to bringing new solutions to DSG athletes.”
Blue Chip envisioned the solution as a new category – “fast hike” – that Merrell can lead. The agency’s research revealed that a high percentage of DSG shoppers define success as pushing past personal limits or expanding personal ranges of ability. And, they like to share their personal experiences and triumphs on social media.
“People take hiking too literally,” said Darick Maasen, Creative Director at Blue Chip. “We’re looking to redefine hiking for younger consumers who may feel alienated by the lofty expectations of what a hike is supposed to be. You can hike anywhere you chose and shouldn’t be limited by your current footwear.”