Costa

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The Story

As the leading manufacturer of the world's clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa not only invests in product development, but also in conservation initiatives. Born on the water, Costa works hard to protect the waters it calls home. Through programs like its Kick Plastic campaign, the brand seeks to raise awareness about the growing plastic pollution problem threatening oceans and waterways worldwide.

 As an extension of the Kick Plastic campaign, Costa partnered with Bureo, product developers and experts in ocean plastic pollution, to create the Untangled Collection. The Untangled Collection is a line of sunglass frames made entirely from recycled fishing nets -- the most dangerous form of ocean plastic that makes up 10 percent of ocean plastic pollution.

Gunpowder was tasked with developing a product launch strategy and plan for the Untangled Collection to generate earned media coverage in both endemic and non-endemic outlets. We dug into research around other sustainable products and coverage, as well as diving deeper into the story behind Costa’s desire to create a line of sunglass frames made from recycled plastic.

This research and the target audience goals led us to planning and executing a launch event in California in conjunction with the Bureo team, as well as a social influencer campaign with six key influencers in the surf category. The launch week events included a media trip for key outlets and influencers in Ventura, Calif. (group dinner and boat trip to the Channel Islands) and a launch part in Venice Beach, Calif.

The Untangled Collection is a natural extension of Costa’s commitment to protect our oceans and waterways and as such, has been a focal point for industry events since the launch. The product and the problem it brings to light are not things that will fade quickly – a truly evergreen tale, through public relations efforts, the Untangled Collection has continued to receive accolades from media and the industry since its launch in May 2018.

In the less than seven months since the collection’s launch, Gunpowder has helped generate 190 earned media mentions with more the 390 million impressions. In addition, we have helped craft seven award entries for the collection, of which Costa has won all.

Mercury

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The Story

When the new Mercury FourStroke engines were released, it created an unprecedented buzz in the marine space with its power, fuel efficiency and compact design. But with product availability challenges of these in demand engines hindering delivery of the new motors. Gunpowder took the challenge of creating excitement while consumers awaited product. The solution? An evolving tour of surprise and delight moments providing one-of-a-kind experiences to unsuspecting fans. These bold experiences brought Mercury fans up close and personal with high-profile bass angles, a legendary college football team and some of country music’s biggest names.

The Go Boldly Tour kicked off at Lake Hartwell for the 2018 Bassmaster Classic. Bass fans were treated to an exclusive VIP tour of Clemson’s Football facility reserved only for prospects and alumni elite and unprecedented access at the Classic expo and during the final weigh in.

The tour’s second stop took us to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, where three walleye-crazy fans were surprised with a day on the water with their favorite walleye anglers. With the help of friends and family, these unsuspecting anglers were treated to a day on the water with top Midwest Walleye sticks Korey Sprengel, Dale Stroschein and Marianne Huskey.

Premier music festival, Summerfest brought the tour to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in July where country music fans were invited to a private acoustic set aboard a luxury pontoon boat powered by the quiet, yet powerful Mercury FourStroke motors. The likes of High Valley and Kip Moore played a selection of their favorite songs on the waters of Lake Michigan with the iconic Milwaukee skyline serving as a backdrop.

The tour wrapped up at Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, Georgia during Angler of the Year, where KVD, Chris Lane, Ott DeFoe and other high-profile bass anglers surprised a local high school fishing team. The boys got a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend the morning with some of their idols. Gunpowder planned and supported each event and documented each tour stop through short-format videos content and on-the-ground social support.

Go Boldly Tour

Go Boldly Tour: Bassmaster Classic

moneylion

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The Story

When a startup online bank decided to reach Middle America with a major NASCAR sponsorship, the startup needed a partner that not only understands Midwestern values but also has a bit of gas and oil in their veins. To maximize their partnership with Team Penske, MoneyLion chose Gunpowder to lead their social, Public Relations and on-site fan engagement. In order to reach hardcore NASCAR fans, we needed a plan to talk the talk and walk the walk.

We devised a plan to build a community of fans surrounding MoneyLion’s racing efforts and ultimately drive awareness and app downloads of its banking offerings. Through clever thinking, planning and execution MoneyLion went from unknown brand to NASCAR’s darling new sponsor.

Gunpowder was at the forefront of the charge making the most of MoneyLion’s NASCAR presence. This included activities from the putting feet on the ground to strategic activations such as:  

  • Race weekend content from the track showcasing MoneyLion drivers Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Austin Cindric

  • Creative concepting for product-centric videos touting MoneyLion’s product offerings and leveraging their drivers  

  • Building relationships with key motorsports media

  • Coordination of MoneyLion’s multi-year sponsorship announcement event

  • Management of a custom Mustang GT sweepstakes with world champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Joey Logano.

All this was accomplished in the span of seven months and generated more than 16 million impressions through our media relations efforts and 1.1 million social engagements. 

Boogity Boogity Boogity.

https://youtu.be/AU617Ppub1Y

https://youtu.be/74MA020bwmA

https://youtu.be/A1_IQmxXHPA

gopro

The Story

In 2012, GoPro hired Gunpowder Founder Ryan Chuckel at his former agency to manage the global launch of the HERO3 camera. We blew away coverage expectations, stymied the competition and laid the groundwork for a long-lasting relationship. 

As our role evolved, we began to take GoPro into new verticals, including motorsports, team sports and hunting & fishing.

As GoPro cautiously entered the hunting and shooting space, Ryan crafted the brand’s strategy and voice around the sport and set a solid foundation for upcoming product launches aimed at hunters and shooters.

Fast forward to April, 2015. Gunpowder is formed and GoPro is the agency’s first client. Today, Gunpowder continues to drive media relations, content development and distribution and social activation for GoPro in the hunt/fish vertical. We have launched the Sportsman Mount, the HERO4 Session and the Realtree Camo Housing, along with other mounts, accessories and software. 

Outside of introducing new products, we drive coverage of GoPro and user-generated content and work with media
to tell deeper stories about product usage in the field and
on the range. 

We have continued to drive consecutive quarters of significant growth across key outdoor retailers including key accounts Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops. 

OPTIMA Batteries

The Story

The Gunpowder founders have been deeply involved with the OPTIMA brand since it was acquired by Johnson Controls in 2000. Today, Gunpowder drives OPTIMA’s charge to become the premier content brand in the automotive performance space.

With decreasing fitment across the fleet of vehicles in the US and technological solutions to that business issue still a couple years off, OPTIMA needed a partner to help them keep their vibrant consumer community engaged while giving auto performance media a reason to keep the brand relevant.

Gunpowder developed a content strategy platform that motivated the best content creators in the biz to give the OPTIMA brand some of their best work. It led to the creation of epic short films, curated by Gunpowder through multiple channels.

Gunpowder created the OPTIMA Ultimate Film Festival, an event held at SEMA in 2015 and designed as a series of events at enthusiast gatherings throughout 2016. This strategy has driven renewed interest in the brand among many enthusiast segments. It generated more than 20 million media impressions in targeted outlets and drew 800 of the most influential people in the automotive aftermarket to the SEMA event.

Gunpowder also created and planned an entire charitable program tied to OPTIMA’s premier partner in the marine business: Bassmaster Elite Series angler Edwin Evers. The program had Edwin fishing with six combat-wounded veterans and generated more than $20,000 of Wounded Warriors in Action donations, 10 million+ media impressions and two unpaid live streams of his fishing trips on Bassmaster.com (a $20,000 value).

ravin crossbows

The Story

When a group of seasoned archery product manufacturing guys got together to reinvent the crossbow, they hired the best: Top engineers, fabrication vendors, you name it. Savvy as the leadership team is, they also recognized the need for a powerful marketing department.

Rather than staffing one internally, they chose the value of bringing Gunpowder in to handle every detail required for a successful new brand and product launch. We hit the ground running, developing every arrow in the marketing quiver from scratch - and at break-neck speed.

  • Ravin “teaser” print and television advertising

  • Ravin product-focused print and television advertising

  • Complete website design and development

  • Technical feature-benefit video production

  • Comprehensive media planning & buying

  • Aggressive, multi-media PR blitz with full reporting

  • Tradeshow and event concept development and execution

  • Social media content creation and curation

  • Full industry outreach, from key journalists to outfitters

Gunpowder fulfilled every deliverable on time and within budget despite looming tradeshow deadlines that were critical to a successful Ravin unveiling. The result? The most successful 2016/17 product launch in the shooting sports industry. In fact, at the 2017 SHOT Show, Ravin stole the show with the longest lines at Range Day - where buyers and media moguls are able to fire top manufacturers’ weapons.

Media coverage across all channels has been intense, and Ravin sales right out of the gate far exceeded the brand’s expectations. Manufacturing quantities were immediately ramped up to meet the insane consumer demand.

Bullseye.

Johnson Outdoors

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The Story

Johnson Outdoors owns two iconic fishing brands - Humminbird and Minn Kota. As their marine electronics and trolling motor technologies were integrating, they turned to Gunpowder in 2016 to determine the most effective way for the brands to collaborate. 

We began by building a true understanding of how anglers use Humminbird and Minn Kota products, learning that anglers want technology that lets them spend time on the water more productively. We discovered that while the relationships between anglers and both brands were similar, there were key differences – including a healthy appetite for technical information on the increasingly powerful and complex Humminbird electronics. 

Armed with these insights, we set out to build a more powerful and engaged community across both brands. We identified gaps in video and photo content that educates and inspires users and potential customers. We then built a nimble plan to create the content needed to backfill existing assets, and put that plan into place on several location shoots – each with defined outputs and distribution strategies. Simultaneously, we combined the brands’ media relations for the first time to tell a more seamless technology story across all mediums. We also created consistency across product launches for stronger, more concise messaging. 

Finally, we developed a plan to better use Johnson Outdoors’ under-utilized pro staff. We integrated pro fishermen into our content to leverage their expertise and credibility among anglers. From tech tips to inspirational lifestyle videos, they became a dynamic voice in our communications. Now, win or lose, the pros are driving conversations about how technology improves fishing. 

In less than a year, Gunpowder has ignited 25+% growth in their social communities and dramatically increased engagement with content on the client’s social channels and through earned distribution. Most importantly, as these two brands continue to work in concert with one another, we have created an agile, focused approach to make Humminbird and Minn Kota stronger together.