Opt Outside Hashtag

It’s that time of year again: leaves are falling, everything is pumpkin flavored and we take stock of what we’re grateful for. It’s also a time for changing retail displays, late store hours and relentless gift-centric advertising.

We’re bigger fans of the former sentiments, which is why we are happy to see some of our favorite brands opt out of the increasingly normalized holiday shopping routine. Our former client REI’s #OptOutside campaign is back this year, encouraging their employees and consumers to take a literal hike instead of shopping on Black Friday. Their stores will be closed Thursday and Friday, and they won’t be processing any online orders. They are still paying their 12,000+ employees on Friday and have partnered with nonprofit partners, government agencies and companies across the country to offer free admission to parks, carpools and more to help America explore the great outdoors.

Our client Ruffwear is among those choosing to publicly #OptOutside – a natural fit for the doggy outfitter, encouraging their customers to take their favorite two-and four-legged friends and family out into mountains.

My personal favorite is Subaru’s partnership, which is keeping on brand with its theme of celebrating its drivers’ passions: the outdoors and pets. This includes the awww-worthy contribution of supplying a fleet of cars and drivers in New York to take shelter dogs out into nature for the day.

Patagonia has decided to celebrate Black Friday a different way; they are remaining open, but they are donating 100% of their profits from both online and in-store sales to fund grassroots environmental organizations, a cause that has always been baked into their brand story.

Yes, this is all really just great marketing. But it is great marketing that is encouraging work life balance and to reconnect with the outdoors. It is marketing that reminds us that life – and specifically the holidays – are about more than consumerism. And they are coming from brands that inherently understand this and have it baked into their ethos; therefore it’s a marketing ploy we can enthusiastically get behind.

We hope to see you on the trails this weekend. Happy Thanksgiving!

*Hashtag is a bi-monthly blog on popular topics in brand, packaging, and consumerism representing the views of probably, like, all millennials everywhere. (Or at least those of Stephanie).