One misty, brown-pow type of day a few months ago, we got a call from a one of the best OG Pacific Northwest brands in the biz: Yakima Racks. The general inquiry: “would Blue Collar be up for helping Yakima craft a campaign centered on flaunting the stunning new line of bike racks?”
Yes, the answer to that was a definitive and resounding, ‘hell yeah.’
Yakima Racks is a brand our shop has drooled over for years. It helps that almost all of us identify as “bike-crazed” and we’ll choose a hot lap over happy hour any day of the week. Plus, over the years, we’ve taken to seriously admiring their marketing approach. Too many of their competitors get swept up in aspirational marketing, which, admittedly makes for some great concepts but ends up face planting when it comes to relatability. Yakima’s mantra: “take more friends.” We love that it shines throughout all of their creative. We were champing at the bit to contribute to their already astronomical visibility and stellar reputation.
The #Trailgate Campaign
We promptly dropped a case of Rainier on the conference room table and lit up the whiteboard.
The campaign needed to be built around the solid overarching concept provided by Yakima: #TRAILGATE. Underneath Yakima’s inclusive umbrella of thought, there’s no reason to exclude anyone—from the pros to the Sunday cruisers, everyone needs riding buddies. We may be biased, but we think the riding scene in Hood River is demonstrative of just that. So we rallied some hometown heroes, some long-time riding buddies, and friends of friends and set out to capture the spirit of “better together.” When paired with the illustrious line of racks, the project came together in a way that was better than we imagined. Dr.Tray stole the spotlight, and in the wake of the campaign, made serious waves on social media and gear magazines across the country.
As we rolled out the six-week campaign full of post-ride recaps, parking lot shenanigans, mud freckle competitions, and road rash brag sessions we were thrilled with the positive feedback. Yakima’s audience loved seeing local Hood River haunts highlighted like Post Canyon Seven Streams Staging Area, Boda’s Kitchen, Dog River Coffee, and Panorama Point. Mega shoutout to photographer Dave Smith and videographer Manny Marquez for pulling out all the stops.
In the end, we were able to drive a solid number of people to the landing page that served as the campaign epicenter. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram, and email, the numbers soared. As hero dirt season wrapped up, so did the campaign, as Yakima makes way for boating and camping.
Onward and Upward
The good news: our work with Yakima Racks isn’t over. We rolled right into orchestrating a 14-day countdown to Summer Solstice with prizes from Yakima and partner brands and nonprofits every single day.
We couldn’t be happier to have forged such a fruitful and gratifying relationship with one of our favorite local brands. We’re jazzed with the work we’ve been able to produce and we’re excited to get a glimpse of what’s ahead!