Did you hear?...Give a Warm Fuzzy combining community, brand-building and goodwill

W.L. Gore & Associates is experimenting with a new way to drive consumer interest in its products -- in this case, Windstopper -- while at the same time benefiting outdoor non-profits in need of funding, especially in this challenged economy. The concept is a national campaign that launched Oct. 1 and wraps up Dec. 15 -- Give a Warm Fuzzy, Get a Warm Fuzzy at www.giveawarmfuzzy.com.
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W.L. Gore & Associates is experimenting with a new way to drive consumer interest in its products -- in this case, Windstopper -- while at the same time benefiting outdoor non-profits in need of funding, especially in this challenged economy. The concept is a national campaign that launched Oct. 1 and wraps up Dec. 15 -- Give a Warm Fuzzy, Get a Warm Fuzzy at www.giveawarmfuzzy.com.

SNEWS® asked Gore's Cynthia Amon how this campaign so far compares to other consumer campaigns the supplier has tried, and we were surprised to learn that this is Gore's first fully integrated campaign that covers brand messaging, product information, manufacturers, consumers, community building, retailers, e-tailers and charities. "Other previous campaigns have been advertising or branding strategies without any participation element that would drive calculable numbers," Amon told us.

We also wondered how often folks have been visiting the site, where they can raise additional points for their favorite charity (Big City Mountaineers, Continental Divide Trail Alliance or Outdoor Industries Women's Coalition) by participating in games and more.

"It all depends on the person. We are encouraging consumers to stop back at least once a week to take the new 'edugame,' earning them more points each time. They also like to view their 'community dandelion,' which shows how many of their friends have networked back onto the site and sent the link on to their friends. The charities themselves come back to see how they are doing in grand total numbers and create strategies to enhance their chance to win," she said.

To promote the program, Gore has been conducting partnership outreach to American Mountain Guide Association, Access Fund and American Alpine Club, we were told, as well as sending email blasts from its own websites and the websites of key outdoor retail partners such as Backcountry.com, SummitHut.com and MountainGear.com.

"We have also placed banners on over 400 sites, purchased print ads in national consumer magazines, spread the word through Gore's Experience More Tour, and hosted select retail events at REI and The North Face," said Amon. "We also put news out on MySpace, and we are tracking everything by code, so at the end we'll be able to tell where the traffic actually originated."

--Michael Hodgson

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