Pearl Izumi is the world's foremost manufacturer of gear for the most serious cyclists among us. But despite their hardcore appeal and avid following, the entire category had gone a little soft over the years. So Pearl Izumi tapped Pocket Hercules to find new ways to elevate the brand. We did it by telling Pearl's unrivaled technical product story in a manner that spoke to the core of the cycling community with humor and without pretension. From provocative print campaigns that routinely get people talking, viral videos, strategic PR initiatives that support the brand and some of the best design work in the industry, Pocket Hercules continues to find new ways to engage avid cyclists with communications that are every bit as cutting edge as the products themselves.
Released on April Fools' Day, this tongue-in-cheek video announced Pearl's ambitious, top-secret plan to put their 4D Chamois on the "harshest environment in the entire solar system" – Uranus. The video quickly generated thousands of views on Youtube and was posted to virtually every influential cycling blog, and helped generate a lot of advance interest in Pearl's new generation chamois.
The job was to say that Pearl Izumi bike shorts keep your posterior happy in the saddle. So we created Happy Ass, a laughing donkey that quickly became the iconic symbol for Pearl shorts and a memorable catchphrase synonymous with comfort. These print ads got people talking and Pearl Izumi shorts flying off store shelves.
At Interbike, North America's largest cycling tradeshow, it's difficult to stand out in the crowd. This poster campaign, which included hangtags, POP and print, didn't just stand out, it stole the show. In fact, the campaign was so successful that Pearl printed a limited edition set to commemorate their 60th anniversary, as well as gigantic, floor-to-ceiling banners that were used to decorate the warehouse at their Boulder, Colorado headquarters.
These two posters were designed to reach participants in some of the country's most prestigious foot and bike races and were placed in the only place we could think would slow them down – on and inside Port-O-Johns. The posters invited participants to pose for a photo while pointing to the box that either matched their level of exertion as measured by the color of their urine or featured the piece of "Mother's Nature's toilet paper" they were forced by circumstance to use during the race. Participants were also encouraged to share these photos on the web with their friends. As the summer race season heated up, more and more of these photos starting popping up on Facebook, Twitter, and countless cycling and running blogs.
Instead of sending boring emails that end up in junk boxes, Pearl Izumi gives subscribers something to look forward to each month. With often-irreverent humor, this email campaign allows Pearl to regularly connect with their most die-hard fans in a memorable way, while extending its singular, cohesive brand voice across all media, and most importantly, creating a trackable spike in online sales.