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From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

Free People: Pura Vida

Entered in Contest or Promotion

About this entry

Specialty clothing brand, Free People, launched in the seventies as one of the first lifestyle brands. Today the company features the latest trends and vintage collections for women who live free through fashion, art, music, and travel. As the company has grown to over 100 stores in North America, with distribution through global, UK, and China sites, over 1,400 specialty retailers around the world, nine boutiques in Japan, and nine boutiques in China – dedication to a unique customer experience has not faltered.

No stranger to promotions, Free People has always jumped at the opportunity to say thank you to its customers and to elevate the brand experience. An example of this is the Pura Vida sweepstakes which the brand launched in May 2014 in conjunction with the expansion of FP Movement, Free People's active wear label. In partnership with JetBlue and yogi-master Rachel Brathen, ten winners were chosen at random to enjoy a week of yoga, surfing, and wellness in Nosara, Costa Rica. The objective of the contest was centered on two factors: brand elevation and email acquisition. Pura Vida saw a higher number of email opt-ins and new emails than any sweepstakes this year.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

The Pura Vida contest began with a video created for Free People's May catalogue and the expansion of FP Movement. The film's concept was centered on five friends traveling to Costa Rica and immersing themselves in the "pura vida" lifestyle. Shots featured the models surfing, practicing yoga, and celebrating the importance of friendship set against the beautiful backdrop of the Costa Rican shore. From there, the Pura Vida contest was released and the video became a snapshot of what the customer could expect on the retreat.

This type of full-circle branding is something that Free People is known for. Before announcing the sweepstakes, Free People built up the wellness lifestyle and aspiration of a Pura Vida getaway. When the May catalogue hit mailboxes and the email went out announcing the FP Movement line – messaging was directly followed by an announcement of the Pura Vida getaway. Fans were prepped and ready to get excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Ultimately, the branding strategy was successful; the sweepstakes saw more opt-ins than any other sweepstakes this year. The last contest that garnered this amount of entries occurred in 2013, and was aided by the help of a major media partner.

Pura Vida's ten randomly selected winners travelled to Costa Rica with members of the Free People team and select media on May 27th, 2014. The trip included roundtrip airfare provided by JetBlue, 5 nights at the Villa Cortes Nosara Retreat Center, daily yoga led by Rachel Brathen, surf lessons, gifted FP Movement styles, daily raw vegan meals, and airport transportation.

The Free People lifestyle is focused on seeking out a beautiful healthy existence and, above all, enjoying those moments with others. Aside from the obvious amenities winners received, even more important were the relationships they formed. The brand created an all-encompassing experience for fans that included personal connections between customers and employees. The actualization of a retreat in a magical place like Nosara, Costa Rica allowed everyone to come together and live the happy healthy lifestyle that Free People so much believes in.


Video for Free People: Pura Vida

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Free People