There are few mountaineering brands that can boast such a rich history as the French brand Simond. From a small family smithy in Chamonix to a manufacturer of innovative equipment protected by patents, Simond has over 150 years of mountaineering history. When he reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, Edmund Hillary was using the Simond ice ax! The brand has been part of Decathlon since 2008. And it is constantly evolving: in 2020, a new Simond factory was opened in Chamonix.
The merger with the French giant of sports stores meant that some Decathlon customers were not aware of the rich history and know-how behind the Simond brand. Hence, the aim of the image campaign was to change the perception of Simond by Decathlon towards an expert brand, with a rich history and experience in creating high-quality, recommendable products. Our goal was to reach, first of all, advanced and intermediate adepts of winter mountain climbing.
The effect of the campaign was a real surprise for us. As many as 1700 applications! Entries full of passion, great photos from the expeditions and a very positive reception of the action in the Alpine environment.
Fans of winter mountain expeditions do not always meet with understanding. Frost, changing weather conditions, the risk of an accident, getting up in the middle of the night for another trip and extreme fatigue – these are the elements of this passion. That is why they are constantly accompanied by the question: “What do you need this for?” We decided to refer to this common experience and look for an answer to this question together.
The choice of an action ambassador was key to reaching the mountaineering community. We decided that it would be Maciej Stańczak – a climber, winner of the prestigious title of Snow Panther and a man who devoted a lot to the mountains. During an expedition to Makalu in 2011. He suffered extensive frostbite to his fingers leading to partial amputations. Despite the difficult events, he did not lose his love for the mountains. He educates about safety in the mountains, is a paramedic, conducts classes, among others on avalanche and winter Tatra tourism courses. He is a mountain rescuer and participant in the Safe Kazbek project.
Although “what do you need this for?” it sounds like a rhetorical question, as part of the competition we decided to ask it quite seriously – seeing the potential of obtaining authentic and emotional answers. The reward was also a unique experience. The three most interesting applications won winter training in the mountains with Maciej Stańczak.
The landing page created by us was the official platform for the action. Using the form, participants could submit their answers with a photo. We also took care of the presence of hero products. The calendar showed the rich history of the Simond brand.
As part of the campaign, we made three spots with the participation of Maciej Stańczak. The first teaser video combined Maciej’s personal perspective on the question asked (“What do you need this for?”) With a call to action, encouraging participation in the competition. The other two films had an educational function. Based on his many years of experience and knowledge resulting from mountain training, the hero of the campaign advised how to prepare for a winter expedition with Simond equipment, as well as how to protect yourself against hypothermia, i.e. body hypothermia.
The campaign is under the official patronage of the Polish Mountaineering Association. In its implementation, we were also supported by the State Forests, for which we are grateful.