Dan Neil of LA Times doesn’t like REI’s new campaign from BBDO/Atlanta.
REI and BBDO have, in other words, made the daring creative choice to portray the backcountry as it is frequently experienced by most of us: cold, wet, often dreary, disappointing and downright uncomfortable. The company’s commitment to authenticity is commendable. It’s also a little nuts.
These ads do not make me want to run down to my REI store for more Gore-Tex. They make me want to pull the blanket over my head. They make me want to check into a four-star resort with extra-thick towels and extremely tall drinks.
That’s Neil’s call. But REI is appealing to another kind of adventurer, one who wouldn’t think of trading a wet tent for a four-star resort. Personally, I like how these spots don’t feel like commercials and my guess is the rugged sorts with REI memberships will too.