In October of 2015, REI announced that as a “cultural counterweight to Black Friday” they would close all 143 of their stores, turn off all online transactions, and pay their employees to take the day off. Black Friday – historically the highest grossing sales day for retailers – instead was to be used to #OptOutside, and get outdoors and in nature. The marketing campaign sparked a national movement, with over 150 companies following suite, and 1.4 million people choosing to #OptOutside. The User Generated Content gallery – still displayed on their website – is an inspiring showcase of compelling reasons to get outside.
In April of 2014, Starbucks launched the White Cup Contest. Inspired by the photos posted to social media sites of customers doodles on their mostly white Starbucks paper cups, Starbucks decided to take things one step further. They encouraged their customers to doodle away, post a photo of the finished product to Twitter or Instagram with #WhiteCupContest, and the winner would have their design printed on a limited edition Starbucks reusable plastic cup. The contest generated nearly 4,000 entries in just three weeks, and changed the winner’s life.