In the United States, the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. In 2015, while other retailers were plotting ways to get more shoppers into their stores REI, the purpose-driven outdoor retailer and the nation’s largest consumer co-operative, wanted to put people before profit and inspire a new conversation about Black Friday with a powerful, public call for everyone to #OptOutside.

To motivate people to opt-in to the movement, we developed a robust thought leadership platform for REI’s CEO; conducted traditional and social media outreach to spread the word; encouraged 300+ non-profits that also care for the outdoors to support; built an interactive microsite containing fun activities to do with loved ones outdoors; and engaged employees and influencers to share their #OptOutside stories on, among other tactics.

To push the campaign further in 2016, we continued to advance #OptOutside via media placements and partnered with more non-profit, private and public sector organizations, including the National Parks Service.


  • 6 million people pledged to #OptOutside since campaign launch
  • Made closing company doors on Black Friday a trend, with 540+ partners (non-profit organizations and companies) including Subaru, National Park Service, Sierra Club, Meetup, among others, following suit in 2016.
  • 36% increase in web traffic to on Black Friday 2016
  • Earned 2.7 billion media impressions in first 24 hours and 1.2 billion social impressions