Brand Loyalty: PR Stunt Pits Everyman Against Wilderness

Filed under: Camping 

A five day “survival” campaign, launched by a Portland creative agency, puts a greenhorn copywriter in the Oregon forests to fend for himself using only the brands on his back and the real-time advice of social media followers.

lee kimball liviving off the brands

“The berries look like they could either be rather delicious or rather poisonous,” 38-year-old Lee Kimball captioned an Instagram shot of a wild bush dotted with bright red fruit. “Lemme know as my health depends on it.”

Kimball was soliciting advice from web followers around the globe using the lone piece of electronics he was given for his task, a smartphone.


A father of three and admitted survival newb, Kimball is the focus of a marketing campaign by creative brand agency Roundhouse that equipped him only with the items he could carry from the brands his agency represents.

That includes the Windows Phone he uses to gather Instagram advice on potentially poisonous flora, as well as YETI, Leatherman, Redington, Finex, Reebok, and Red Bull, among others (check out the full list below).

living off the brands gear

Living Off The Brands Equipment List

  • REEBOK: Apparel, Shoes
  • ADIDAS: Apparel, Shoes
  • LEATHERMAN: Signal Tool
  • YETI: Rambler 65g, Cooler Hopper 20, Cooler Bear Locks
  • FINEX: Cast Iron Grill & Sear Set, Cast Iron Sauce Pot
  • REDINGTON: Path Combo Reel, Foam Flies, Nipper, Zinger, Sonic Pro Waders, Prowler Boots
  • RIO: Powerflex Trout Leader, Powerflex Plus Tippet (x5)
  • RED BULL: Classic flavor
  • WIDMER BROTHERS BREWING: Variety Pack, Umbrella
  • FAUST: Wine 2012/2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • LA GALAXY: Scarf, Jersey
  • TREEHOUSE CHOCOLATE: Drinking Chocolate
  • LEUPOLD: Binoculars
  • MICROSOFT: Windows Phone

Notably absent from Kimball’s list of survival gear are food and shelter. That is where the fun should happen, at least that’s the idea behind the interactive #LivingOffTheBrands hashtag. Followers can advise Kimball on his situation and respond to his survival questions, like “What kind of bones are these?” and “How do I catch and kill that deer?”

A little #SurvivalSelfie as I head out into the wild blue yonder. #LivingOffTheBrands

A photo posted by Roundhouse (@roundhousepdx) on


They can also marvel at his fruitless fly fishing attempts, cramped lean-to, and meager stewed nettle and pan-fried ant larvae dinners on the video posts streamed daily on Periscope.

Kimball began the survival quest on Monday, where he was dropped off in the Three Creek Wilderness Area in Central Oregon. His adventures, and his posts, continue through July 22.

Follow Kimball throughout the day using #LivingOffTheBrands, and scope out his daily streams at 4:00 EST, 1:00 Pacific on Periscope.

By
Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.
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