MEC Nick

MEC introduces the ‘other’ Nick from the North

Hunky Santa gives holiday gift recommendations

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) has launched a holiday campaign starring “Nick,” a rugged pseudo-Santa who’s an expert in gift giving for outdoorsy types.

The campaign, developed by Wasserman + Partners Advertising, includes an online video with a red-clad Nick explaining how he’s not like Santa. “I ride with raingear, not reindeer. I run on streets, not milk and cookies…” The campaign features “Nick’s Picks,” with gift ideas for skiers, cyclists, runners and snowshoers.

MEC has done campaigns around gift recommendations for the past few years, but took a more quirky approach this year. “We know that people appreciate [our gift advice], so we wanted to take that one step further and have a lot of fun with it this Christmas,” said Allison Brownlie, marketing manager at Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Nick’s Picks are advertised in store, and a social media contest invites consumers to go to a MEC store, take a selfie with an item they want for the holidays and share it on social media with the hashtag #NicksPicksMEC. Once a week, one winner will receive the item they’ve posted. “We wanted to tie in our in-store experience into an online experience,” said Brownlie.

Another social media component lets people ask for gift suggestions with the hashtag #AskNickMEC. The company is responding to each of those and is also providing video responses from MEC experts to a select few each week.

The campaign also includes digital billboard advertising in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. The billboards change with the weather, so if it’s snowing in Vancouver, the ads show Nick holding skis or snowshoes.

Media Profile is handling PR.

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