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From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Do You Adventure?

Winner in YouTube


CLIF Bar believes in the power of outdoor adventure. It's a brand that invites, challenges, and encourages people to experience all the raw emotions of adventure. Short of actually bringing people along for a hike, ride, wave, or climb, it can be difficult for CLIF to give people the experience of an adventure.

Instead, we used platforms like YouTube and Instagram in unexpected and previously unimagined ways to create digital versions of adventure. We aimed to deliver an experience that was surprising, different for every user, and would created an integrated digital experience that allowed users to discover exactly what adventure meant to them.

Strategy and Execution

CLIF has a long history and rich culture as a product crafted for outdoor adventures, and a brand managed by outdoor adventurers. Rather than follow the category norm and engage over the features and benefits of the food, CLIF set its sights on further establishing itself as an outdoor leader, as a preeminent adventure brand, in the same space as The North Face or Red Bull – in essence transcending the category fray. The thing is, CLIF's marketing approach has traditionally leaned more toward grassroots than big paid media initiatives, so our challenge was to set the brand apart in a big way via paid and earned media without betraying the essence of what CLIF had become known for and without alienating lifelong fans, many of whom represent the most expert outdoor athletes in the world.

Our core media strategy was to enable Athletic Adventurers to experience CLIF's journey of adventure using digital content in the places where our audience goes to feel inspired. The interactive video experience lived at the core of our channel architecture, and channels were selected to do one of three things: invite, engage, or drive reach/awareness of Feed Your Adventure content. Invitational channels including YouTube Reserve and Facebook promoted posts featured short-form teaser cuts of Feed Your Adventure videos that directed users to the full interactive experience on YouTube. In addition, YouTube TrueView ads drove direct participation with the full interactive video. Mass digital channels including Hulu, Rodale, and Pandora enabled CLIF to reach a broader Athletic Adventurer audience with the campaign.

More than the physical and the finish line, CLIF Bar believes camaraderie, self-discovery, exhilaration, and the unexpected are really the stuff of adventure. Rather than tell people about CLIF's point of view on adventure, we built a digital experience that immersed users in CLIF's version of adventure. The highlight was an interactive video using standard YouTube annotations that sent users on a wild choose-your-own adventure digital journey. Users were driven to the full-length interactive YouTube experience via a short-form teaser video.


Our goal was to engage users for at least 1:00 and have a view-through rate of 20%. Our video reached an average of 7:32 of engagement/viewing time with consumers and a benchmark- setting view-through rate of 54%! The video had over 8.5 million minutes spent in just 45 days. And it was not just loved by the core audience of Outdoor Adventurers, but CLIF's entire Health + Fitness Adventurer target (0.8% drop-off, exceeding our <10% goal). The video's interactivity resonated with consumers in a way our Google account team has "never seen" (Source: YouTube/Google). Across the entire campaign, we endeavored to deliver 10MM total video views at an average cost per view of $0.03. We not only met this goal, but beat delivery and cost per view by 4 (Source: DFA, YouTube). Most critically, our mission was to increase brand equity, measured through favorability, recall, and consideration. Not only did we exceed our favorability goal of 4.2%, we more than tripled it with a 14.8% lift (Source: Nielsen/Vizu). Regarding consideration, we more than doubled our goal with a lift of 5.9%. Similarly, we not only entered Google's "Best In Class" benchmark for recall but saw it rise by 58.4%, (Source: Google/YouTube). Finally, CLIF shot to the #3 position out of all grocery store brands in the July Shelf Score, measuring Purchase Intent across CPG brands, an indicator that our campaign had an immediate impact on the bottom line for CLIF. (Source: Intently July Shelf Score).


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