Even though we are not a retailer, we’ll #optoutside, will you? In 2015 and 2016, REI skipped the Black Friday frenzy. They closed their stores and gave employees a paid day off. Millions of people like you joined us outside. Awesome! So let’s do it again. Let’s make a new tradition. Join us. #optoutside.
#optoutside has evolved into a nationwide campaign for change with a lot of companies embracing it.
Here are a just a few of the things the Outdoor Industry Association says about #OptOutside.
1. The message is about more than Black Friday. The origin story of #OptOutside is rooted in the holiday season, so you could be forgiven for thinking it’s simply a commentary on or condemnation of consumer culture. In fact, it’s not about a moment in time but rather about a movement and a call to action for people to pursue time outdoors any and all times of the year, and especially this time of year, when we’re together with friends and family.
2. Instead of copyrighted, it has been co-opted. If brand directors live by one motto, it’s this: “own the message.” It’s one of marketing’s non-negotiables. Except in this case, when the creatives who developed the #OptOutside campaign realized it had garnered attention worthy of a bigger message. Call it open-source cause marketing; call it consumer activism. We think it’s brilliant, and we’re thankful they’ve shared it with such a broad network of influencers who have, in turn, reached so many public eyeballs.
3. It is inspiring a network of enablers. There’s often a big chasm between the idealism of a cause marketing campaign and people’s reality. For too many people, even the outdoors—which are supposed to be for everyone—have barriers to entry. We’re inspired to see many organizations adopting #OptOutside in an effort to lower or eliminate those barriers. Look for local companies embracing this idea.
4. It continues to evolve. The #OptOutside movement gained momentum almost instantly, and it will certainly continue to pick up speed. We love that this year, REI is using that momentum as a platform from which to launch an education campaign. This year, it takes the shape of a new report that looks at several ‘truths’ about outdoor participation and what they could mean for the future of outdoor recreation. In REI’s own words, The Path Ahead report “captures trends that affect the future of life outdoors. It doesn’t present the answers. It’s designed to provoke discussion…about what could happen if we stay inside as a species” versus what could happen if we all #OptOutside.
Black Friday is better when you #OptOutside