How I increased sales in the south.
The project focused on new creative to establish a better brand for Cabela’s in an underperforming segment.
Have you ever been handed a project and seen the potential? The initial task was a landing page, but after some discovery meetings, careful planning, and creation, we ended up with an execution that would gain close to $500,000 in sales over the previous year within a week. We also increased website sales within the southeastern portion of the United States by 12%. Needless to say, the success of the project changed any future expectations.
Project: Bass Master Classic Event
Deliverable: Branding, Photography, Integrated Marketing
Cabela’s has been primarily known for it’s hunting and fishing products and expertise however, it never really specialized in the bass fishing segment. A year before this project hit my desk, I was assigned the fishing and soft goods categories as the senior interactive art director. Shortly after being assigned, the key bass fishing stakeholder requested a landing page update because the 2014 event was in progress. Within our postmortem, we discussed the following year and started to make plans. As the collaboration continued, a complete overhaul was scheduled for the next year. New branding and a comprehensive, integrated marketing campaign was the end goal.
the prep work
I didn’t know what the Baster Master Classic was before the project. During the discovery phase, I researched the event, audience, and other executions. I found out that the tournament is like the Superbowl of bass fishing. To mimic that feel, I also looked into Under Armour, Nike, Rebook, and other notable brands and how they have traditionally created and campaigned for the Super Bowl. I wanted to create something that felt high-end sport, which could lift Cabela’s product and brand within that space.
At this stage, I talked with merchandise to see what types of products and clothing we would want to highlight. Together, we used the creative brief and mood board to find a jersey produced by Cabela’s main fishing product line, Guidewear and picked some other products recently launched for bass fishing. The jersey had three different colors, and we went with red to create a high-contrast visual.
Based on an initial sketch, I got approval from the executive creative director and scheduled some time within the studio. We were seeking stadium-style lighting with an undisclosed athlete. I wanted an unknown athlete so the audience could envision themselves using the equipment. Within the first 5 minutes, I had what I wanted. However, I had the studio booked for an hour, so we continued to shoot anything else we might need as a backup. It is a good thing we did.
Gathering the tagline and creating the main ad was the final step in branding—however, a few things needed to be adjusted and created. After the shoot, the main image I chose, because of the lighting, had the word weak on the lower arm. With some photoshopping, we combined two different images, added some smoke, and used some treatment for the final branding.
The integrated marketing campaign plan included a landing page, website banners, emails, social media posts, display ads, and mobile ads. The landing page had three phases where we would have a pre-event, during-event, and post-event version. Each version would have a different focus. The pre-event would focus on teasing the event and featured products. The during-event version would showcase tips and tricks from the athletes in the tournament. The post-event landing page would take elements from the previous versions and show off the ambassadors and how they performed in the tournament.
As the creative came together, a few more departments wanted to participate. We had a department that offered to fund a bass fishing boat giveaway. The in-store display team took all the creative and made displays, 50-foot banners, and flyers. The stores within a 200-mile radius all received the signage. The creative was also used for the booth created for the tournament. All these on-location designs went through a different creative team. I primarily advised within the creation process.
End Results & Recap
The campaign created additional website sales of half a million dollars compared to the previous year directly from the landing page. Although this wasn’t a lot compared to other higher profile campaigns, it was the first time generating this kind of sales using new creative.
We also saw that the creative increased market share within the southeast region of the United States. A key competitor typically dominated this region, and we saw a 12% increase in regional shopper and regional digital sales. The project was deemed such a success that it plans were made for subsequent years.