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Escape Cubicle Culture

L.L.Bean Helps Workers Escape Cubicle Culture for the Great Outdoors with an Experiential Campaign

Zach Brooke

Escape Cubicle Culture


Outdoorsman Leon Leonwood Bean developed his now-famous waterproof boot, so he could fully enjoy the tranquility of Maine’s fertile freshwater shorelines. In 1912, he lent his name to a new company, L.L.Bean, formed to market the innovative footwear to like-minded naturalists. For years, the brand was synonymous with camping supplies, wilderness gear and top-of-the-line quality. But by 2017, internal tracking suggested that the brand’s original message had become garbled.


“We were founded 100-plus years ago as an outdoor brand, but we sell a lot of casual apparel as well,” says Kathryn Pratt, the company’s director of brand engagement. VIA, the agency L.L.Bean hired to bring clarity to the message, agreed; VIA CEO Leeann Leahy told Adweek the brand had fragmented and “lost its clear path.”


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Zach Brooke is a former AMA staff writer turned freelance journalist. His work has been featured in Chicago magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, A.V. Club and VICE, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Zach_Brooke.