IMC Outdoor Living, North America’s leading producer of recycled rubber landscaping products, challenged UPBrand to raise awareness and drive purchase of its rubber mulch products at Home Depot and Lowe’s. Since IMC had already cornered the recycled rubber mulch market with a handful of retailer-specific brands, our main task was to convert wood mulch users with a category sell.

First, we needed to establish a messaging platform for the category that touted the primary benefits of rubber nugget mulch and would encourage wood mulch users to switch. We validated this positioning with a national online survey and used the platform to develop our creative strategy – what wood mulch users care most about and what could allay their barriers to switching.

During our research, we also identified the top four digital platforms where mulch users and landscape enthusiasts spent their time. By identifying specific psychographic profiles, we were able to deliver the right message, to the right consumer, at the right time.

The Call of the Wild

The landscaping advertising category is rife with bland messaging and monotonous photography – scores of carefully manicured lawns, dry copy and overly staged scenes.

So, to stand out, we needed to develop a personality that grabbed attention while delivering on the insights.

For the “Call of the Wild” campaign, we leveraged the nosy neighbor trope to shame wood mulch users into seeing the benefits of recycled rubber mulch. Using furry neighbors – squirrels, deer, raccoons and more – we were able to not just execute the campaign with absurd humor, but also help quash any concerns that rubber mulch could be unsafe around critters.


First, we needed to design, coordinate and execute a photo shoot to achieve the campaign’s desired look and feel.

The set had to be custom-built to allow for different framing sizes – i.e., shooting some scenes for vertical website banners vs. wide landing page images – and taxidermied animals had to be sourced. Cardboard cutouts were arranged along the lighting to create shadows that would emulate the sun coming through trees in the great outdoors.

We directed talent with improvisational scenarios to capture the humor of the campaign and worked closely with the photographer to set shot angles and scenes.

Once the favorite raw images were selected, we sourced background imagery to fill out the outdoor milieu.

Website Design

To house all the benefits, FAQs and retail search functionality, we built an easy-to-consume microsite, complete with brilliant photography and cheeky copy.



landing page conversion rate


landing page visits from Pinterest

Digital Strategy

With strategically designed targeting, we rolled out search, display, social and Spotify ads across 4 test markets that resulted in an incredible 12.6% landing page conversion rate.

Pinterest generated unprecedented engagement and landing page visits, and nearly 21.5% of Spotify listeners navigated directly to the landing page because they remembered the URL from the radio spot.