The tagline for ECHO Outdoor Power Equipment has long been "Power On. And on." A fitting line given that ECHO manufactures the most powerful pro-level power tools on the market. But you can only talk about powerful products so much before it begins to lose meaning. Everyone in the outdoor power equipment category is making product-focused advertising—and spending a lot more money than ECHO. Despite the fact that ECHO makes the most powerful products out there, we had to find another way to stand out. So we turned the lens away from chainsaws, blowers and trimmers—and pointed it at the professionals who use the tools every day. We began telling their powerful stories. We shared how they power on and on in their lives. By focusing less on specs and features and more on personal stories, our hope was to get customers to relate to and engage with the ECHO brand more than ever before.
We worked closely with our client and their dealer network to identify individuals we could feature in a long-form video series called ECHO USA. We wanted people who not only used ECHO products but, more importantly, reflected the spirit of the ECHO brand. The result is a beautiful content series that celebrates hard work, overcoming adversity, and a commitment to always powering forward. It is the opposite of what every other brand is doing in the outdoor power equipment space. The power of these stories has not been limited to the professional consumers they were intended to reach. This program has also been an amazing way for ECHO to connect with dealers and communities around the country. And it has fostered a huge sense of pride within the walls of their organization.
Our latest episode in the ECHO USA series is entitled “El Leñero (The Woodcutter).” It’s the story of Alex Lopez, a 76-year-old man whose family has resided in the Carson National Forest in Las Trampas, New Mexico, for generations. Like many other forests around the country, this land has been increasingly affected by wildfires. Alex has dedicated his life to managing and protecting the forest like his ancestors before him. Chainsaws aren’t usually associated with saving forests, but when it comes to preventing forest fires they are one of our best tools. Alex learned to manage the forest from his father who learned from his father before him. His dream is to pass this knowledge down to future generations so they, too, can care for land that has played such an important role in the survival of his people.
In a category where product-focused, short-form advertising is the norm and brand messaging (when it even exists) is squished into 6-second, highly efficient but empty messages, ECHO proved there is a benefit in slowing things down and connecting with their customers on an emotional level through rich storytelling. Our series of long-form videos about professional landscapers has been highly effective at driving brand engagement. In 2022, ECHO began putting paid support behind these long-form videos in YouTube pre-roll. Compared to short-form pre-roll creative (mix of :30s/:15s), ECHO USA videos have been extremely successful in captivating our target groups—from an awareness standpoint, delivering comparable view rates to :30 advertisements–while generating 2x-5x the engagement of our shorter videos. Which just goes to show that no matter how powerful a product may be, it’s no match for an equally powerful story.