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REI is an outdoor retail chain that sells a variety of gear along with offering educational classes and trips.  Due to REI's diverse offerings, REI has become the nation's largest co-op.  Although REI does tremendous business they have been looking for new markets to grow in.  Cody and his team were tasked with helping REI discover how they could expand their market share among Asian American's.

Pumpkin's Kitchen Cafe' is a family-owned soul food restaurant located in Richmond, Virginia.  Although Pumpkin's Kitchen Cafe' has loyal patrons they were looking for ways to grow their business.  Cody and his team were responsible for developing solutions to help Pumpkin's Kitchen Cafe' increase their customer base by twenty additional customers each week.



Through their research, Cody's group realized that one campaign strategy wouldn't be enough to reach the target audience but instead, they would need to deploy a larger integrated strategy. With that in mind, they introduced the Step outside. Stay outside. Campaign.


The groups objective that they were attempting to achieve with their campaign was to increase consideration of REI among Asian American adventurers.  They wanted to specifically focus on increasing consideration in the targeted locations mentioned earlier that they determined a large Asian American population resided in.


The strategy that they employed was to use the integrated campaign to position REI as an approachable authority on outdoor activities.​

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For out-of-home REI would advertise on billboards.  They would strategically choose billboards that were close to iconic outdoor attractions.  REI would also use the scenery to their advantage by merging the billboards with it to have the environment promote itself.  Examples of where these billboards would be near are at Yosemite National Park (CA), Mount Rainier (WA), Delaware River (NJ) and Red Rock Canyon (NV).

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Geo-targeted Digital Advertising

During their research, Cody and his group discovered that Caucasians spend less time on websites and mobile applications as compared to Asian Americans.  With that finding, they knew that mobile phones would offer a great opportunity to help them reach REI's target audience.  They recommended using sensor data to determine where these individuals where located and send targeted advertisements.  These advertisements would alert people when they're near outdoor activities.

Owned Digital Channels

As social media becomes more integral to businesses REI has capitalized on this trend and has established an active presence on a vast amount of platforms.  Due to their large social media involvement, REI has seen great success with their campaigns such as their #OptOutside campaign.


With REI having great success with their campaigns Cody and his group recommended that REI continues to focus on campaigns.  They recommended that along with REI's #OptOutside campaign that they integrate the new Step Outside. Stay Outside campaign with it.  This will be geared towards getting people to try new experiences for the first time.  To launch Step Outside. Stay Outside REI would take advantage of Instagram and have stories created for this campaign and encourage user-generated content.

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With Asian Americans not seeing themselves as REI's 'audience, they feel that they can't relate to the brand.  In order to help better represent the Asian American population, Cody and his group suggested that REI partner with social media influencers to help represent them better and show their target audience the joy of going outside.  These influencers would embody the REI brand and encourage people to try new experiences.

The influencers would provide their followers with tips and advice about outdoor activities to help people start their outdoor journeys.  These influences would also engage with their followers.  They would answer questions and give advice based on what people are curious about. Lastly, the influencers would provide reviews for gear that REI sells and recommendations based on who should purchase it.​

Promotional giveaway

It can be overwhelming to start a new adventure and not know where to begin.  What Cody and his group recommended was that REI create a box of essential starting items that every adventurer would need.  The box would include between four and six items such as apparel, sunscreen, or first aid kits.  There would also be information on local outdoor activities, REI adventures program, tips, and resources, information about the Step Outside. Stay Outside campaign include inside the box and REI branded paraphernalia. These boxes would be distributed twice a year by REI's influencers as a part of a competition.  Followers would enter through a link listed on the influencers bio page.

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Campaign Tour

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College is a unique time in peoples lives offering many new opportunities and experiences.  With that in mind, Cody and his group wanted to capitalize on that notion so they recommended that REI visit colleges within the six states were a large population of Asian Americans are located.  At these schools, REI would introduce their concept to students and engage with them to build interest in the outdoors and make them consider REI next time they go outside.

REI would travel to these schools during welcome week and set up pop-up immersion stands. At these stands, students would be able to learn more about the outdoors, get checklists for gear they would need for activities, get local attraction information and get free REI branded paraphernalia such as water bottles, stickers, and pop-sockets.  Also at these stands, REI would have VR experiences set up so that students can see what it would be like to do things like climb a mountain or go kayaking.

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REI has a large customer base but wanted to see how they could reach the Asian American market.  Cody and his team were tasked with getting the target audience to engage with the REI brand.  After extensive research, they decided that an integrated strategy was the best way to help expand REI's brand.  Their campaign focused on getting people to try new things for the first time.  Through the campaign, REI would educate people about the excitement about being outdoors while establishing the brand as an expert. 

Cody's Team

Cody's team consisted of six people with many different creative abilities.  The first person on Cody's team was Christopher Suarez specializing in brand strategy.  The next team member was Brianne Johnson also specializing in brand strategy.  Then there was Jeremy Stokes who was the group's experience design specialist.  The group's copywriter was Kelley Barrett.  Finally, there was Jenna Anderson the art director of the group.

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Self-Help Comic


Self-help is the act of improving oneself without the assistance of other people.​  A self-help book is​ a book that offers guidance to the reader on how they can overcome problems and better their personal or prefessional life.

The Ask

For this assignment, Cody and his group were responsible for developing a self-help comic book for girls between the ages of 13-17.  Cody and his group had to come up with a concept for the comic, bring it to life and develop a launch plan to help deploy it.

The Method

After receiving the prompt Cody and his group started doing research on self-help books that were currently available on the market as well as if there were any self-help comics and what they were like.  They also knew that in order to develop a comic for teenage girls they would have to look at the struggles that girls deal with.  Also since Cody and one of his group members were male they knew that they would have to do additional information to better understand teenage girls and how they think.  After the initial research was concluded Cody and his other male team member decided that visit comic and book stores to look at examples of comics and what they had available in the self-help section and what they had for girls. While at these stores they also decided that they would survey girls to get insight into what they looked for in comics.  Once Cody and his group decided what subjects they wanted the comic to cover Cody decided that he would do a little more research to gain insights to help guide the writing in the comic.  What Cody did was speak with females at his school as well as other females he knew and asked them questions about what they went through when they were a teenage girl.

The Findings

From their research, they discovered a great deal about teenage girls and what struggles they deal with, as well as gained a great deal of insight into how they handle their problems.


of teenagers say that anxiety and depression are their biggest problems


more than boys​


Teenage girls experience emotional stress

They discovered that for teen girls,  some of the most common sources of their anxieties are: getting good grades, friendship and their physical appearance. 

During their research, Cody and his group found many more causes of anxiety for teenage girls.  However, they found that they all have one thing in common they all stem from uncertainty.

When faced with stressful situations, girls are 34% more likely to actively respond to stressors compared to boys who are 66% likely to distract themselves from the problem.

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The market for comic book sales among teenagers does exist.


Out of the 25% of teenagers that read comics


of them are 



of teenage girls are visual learners


When developing the concept the group realized that most stores were linear with a beginning, middle and typically one ending.  They also discovered that only 1% of comics had more than one ending.  They felt that this indicated that there is only one resolution to a problem.  


However, after consideration, the group decided that this structure wouldn't work for their book because there is more than one way a girl can solve her problems and they can have many different outcomes.  With most girls being visual learners they wanted to use their book to show and not just tell girls the outcomes.  What they decided to do was make a choose your own adventure comic.


Create a comic book that eliminates the uncertainty by showing that there are many different ways an issue can be handled.

How It Works

The way the comic worked was that it would start off by telling the main story however once it approached the different choices the girl would be able to pick the snario that she th



 blah blah blah..... and each issue would cover a different issue.  The first issue would cover the topic of puberty.




Cody's Team

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