Gore-Tex takes consumers on a global scavenger hunt

When WL Gore and Associates, the maker of the waterproof fabric Gore-Tex, among other fabrics and consumer and medical products, wanted to create buzz for its brand in the travel industry, the company initiated an integrated marketing effort to spotlight its line of travel footwear, including a global scavenger hunt.

When WL Gore and Associates, the maker of the waterproof fabric Gore-Tex, among other fabrics and consumer and medical products, wanted to create buzz for its brand in the travel industry, the company initiated an integrated marketing effort to spotlight its line of travel footwear, including a global scavenger hunt.

The company enlisted the help of Warschawski, AOR for Gore's footwear and accessories business unit, to help it become more recognized in the travel sector and increase its brand awareness.

Strategy
The company decided to more actively seek to align the Gore-Tex brand with the travel category because in terms of consumer segmentation, “travelers have always ranked pretty high,” says Mike Adams, category manager for casual footwear at Gore-Tex.

The team tapped both adventure and leisure travelers to reach “anyone traveling during the summer,” says Michele Tomlinson, director at Warschawski.

Tactics
Along with traditional outreach, the company focused on utilizing its partnership with the Adventure Travel Trade Association to choose the top 10 travel destinations that showcase venues that fit the brand proposition of its shoe line, Tomlinson says.

With these top 10 venues, the company created a global scavenger hunt for hidden diamond-shaped gaming pieces, which resembled Gore-Tex's logo. The team promoted the venues and clues on the effort's Web site, Gore-TexTravelFootwear.com, leading to prizes in countries such as the US and Switzerland.

Results
Participants discovered the hidden pieces and the site welcomed more than 9,700 unique visitors during the effort. There were 150 online write-in contest entries from 40 states. Also, Gore-Tex became the top-searched “travel footwear” on Google and Yahoo, Adams says.

Future
Adams says that “interest is going to continue and we will create our own opportunities to replicate it.”

PR team: WL Gore and Associates (Newark, DE) and Warschawski (Baltimore, MD)

Campaign: Diamond in the Rough

Duration: April-September 2008

Budget: approximately $500,000

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