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Your Shot: BBDO on Transforming Lumbersexuals into Bona Fide Lumberjacks


BBDO Minneapolis and Dinty Moore send group of plaid shirt-clad hipsters into the woods to learn skills to compete in a lumberjack competition

Your Shot: BBDO on Transforming Lumbersexuals into Bona Fide Lumberjacks

The Wikipedia definition of ‘lumbersexual’ reads: “A lumbersexual or urban lumberjack is a physically fit man who has adopted style traits typical of a traditional lumberjack, namely a beard, plaid shirt, and scruffy hair, supplementing otherwise clean-cut and fashionable style choices.”

But these booted crusaders would struggle to pick out a misery whip from a chainsaw - so BBDO Minneapolis and Dinty Moore, a canned food brand synonymous with lumberjacks, set about teaching them. As part of the brand’s sponsorship campaign for an upcoming lumberjack competition, they scoured coffee shops, fashion boutiques and record stores for the Mid-West’s most devoted lumbersexuals. They were then sent into the woods with a professional lumberjack to learn the tricks of the trade, ready to compete in the previously mentioned lumberjack competition, while their journey was documented via online and social content.

LBB’s Addison Capper chatted with BBDO Minneapolis Associate Creative Director David Mackereth to find out more.

LBB> What was the initial brief like from Dinty Moore and what were your thoughts when you first saw it?

DM> The initial brief from Dinty Moore was to create sponsorship materials for a lumberjack competition. While we love vinyl banners, we were attracted to the second half of the brief: figure out a way to build excitement around the brand on a small budget. A great challenge.


LBB> What was the strategic thinking behind a big content / experiential campaign like this for a brand like Dinty Moore?

DM> There are plenty of men out there holding office jobs who sit around all day. They dress like lumberjacks but they aren’t acting like lumberjacks. They’re definitely not working up a lumberjack-sized hunger. We wanted to take these men and get them back out into nature. We wanted them to experience a hard day’s work and know what it feels like to be really hungry. This led to our theme line Lumberjacks Eat Moore, Dinty Moore.

Dinty Moore is the meal that works so hard, it wears flannel. It’s made for men who work up a big appetite. By connecting to a modern trend of lumbersexuals, we were able to entertain our core audience and solidify Dinty Moore as the lumberjack brand all the while engaging with a younger more modern audience. 


LBB> The campaign obviously pokes fun at hipster culture - why was it right for Dinty Moore to get involved in that conversation? How early on did the idea crop up in discussions? 

DM> Early on we noticed the fashion trend amongst hipsters in the Mid-West who dress like lumberjacks daily. When we were asked to ideate for a lumberjack competition, it didn’t take long to connect back to this fashion trend. They looked like a lumberjack but lacked all the skills of a lumberjack. There was a gap between looking the part and acting the part. We knew Dinty Moore was the perfect brand to bridge the gap.


LBB> How did the casting process work? Were you looking for actors or normal folk off the street?

DM> We scoured local coffee shops, record stores and men’s fashion boutiques. We also utilised Dinty Moore’s social media accounts so people could spread the word to their lumbersexual friends using the hashtag #MooreJacks.


LBB> What went down during their training with Adrian Flygt?

DM> Adrian Flygt is a professional lumberjack who competes in Stihl Timbersport events. He is also a high school teacher. These professions made him the perfect person to teach our lumbersexuals how to be lumberjacks. We had our four lumbersexuals meet up with Adrian in the back woods of Stillwater, Minnesota. They trained for several days, specifically in three events: axe throwing, chain-sawing and the misery whip (buck saw). They were taught how to safely perform these skills and were given tips on how to perfect their form. They got their shiny leather boots filthy and their perfectly primped hair dishevelled. They got their hands dirty and they worked up an appetite.


LBB> How did they do in the actual competition?

DM> The actual event drew quite a crowd in Chicago. The Stihl Timbersports event was sold out. Our lumbersexuals led off the competition with the axe throw. Every one of our competitors hit the target – not an easy feat. Then they put on their safety chaps and competed in the chainsaw, each cutting two wood cookies off the log. In the finale, LumberBen competed against LumberJamin on the misery whip. Jamin’s buck saw actually fell off the log early, so Ben took the lead. But then, in a moment that is destined for ESPN Classic, Jamin reset his saw and blazed through the log beating Ben by the slightest of margins. Wood chips flew everywhere and the crowd roared!


LBB> What kind of reaction have you received to the campaign? 

DM> The reactions to the event have been very positive. In Chicago the Stihl Timbersports lumberjacks and their fans sought out selfies with our contestants. Our preview videos and posts resulted in a lot of recognition for our lumbersexuals online and in the community at large. They were fully embraced by the more rugged lumberjack community in Chicago. Content taken from the event will be rolled out over the next few months. We expect even more positive reaction and increased sales of Dinty Moore.


LBB> What were the trickiest components and how did you overcome them?

DM> The trickiest part was walking the line between having fun with lumbersexuals and making fun of lumbersexuals. We did this all in genuine fun.  Given that it was created by lumbersexuals, I think other lumbersexuals could see that, too.

We didn’t want to tarnish anyone’s dignity.


LBB> Any parting thoughts?

DM> Pour yourself a bowl of Dinty Moore and get ready for more flannel in 2017.

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Categories: Convenience, Food

BBDO Minneapolis, Wed, 20 Jul 2016 13:39:07 GMT