Small Agency, Big Idea: DIKO helps Rumpl get Portland AF

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Ahead of Ad Age's Small Agency Conference in L.A. on July 17-18, we're be turning the spotlight onto standout work from the industry's tiny but mighty creative players. We continue with 3-person Austin shop DIKO, which helped blanket startup Rumpl relocate from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon.

A new brand is a blank slate, and giving it a personality that resonates with customers is one of the toughest tasks for an agency. When DIKO in Austin, Texas was tasked with introducing outdoor blanket company Rumpl to a new city, the 3-person agency needed to figure out the voice and tenor of the messaging first. How would Rumpl speak to potential fans in its new home in Portland, Oregon?

"The strategy was to really make this about how Rumpl really gets you," says Diko Daghlian, founder and creative director at DIKO, saying that the brand is for people who love the outdoor lifestyle, to relax and hang out with friends. As a brand, "Rumpl values friends and experiences just like [its] audience."

So the campaign speaks to a young, active and outdoorsy audience in the same way the target group might speak to one another. "When it's cold AF," reads one billboard, as a couple smooches in the woods underneath a Rumpl blanket sized for two. "Sleep around," says another, as a young body in a North Face cap naps on a pier.

The conversation is taken further in a half-dozen sitcom-style spots featuring a curious cast of sports enthusiasts sharing a cabin in the wilderness. Great roommates, they're not. "They're together because they're friends. And friends annoy each other," Daghlian says. The kayaker insists on keeping her gear inside; the climber chalks literally everything. "Whether you're a rock climber or a surfer, there's just weird stuff you do that no one else would get," he says.

The billboards are up in Portland now and will expand to Denver, Colorado. Besides out-of-home, the ads are running on TV and online. Sales have increased since they began airing, and Rumpl is in talks with major sports venues and leagues for potential collaborations.

Though Portland is a lot colder than Austin, both cities have a proud reputation for weirdness, which helped the creative team get into the right mindset. "There are a lot of similarities there," Daghlian says. "I think you could pretty much drop someone from Austin into Portland and they'd be right at home after you bought them a coat."

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