illustration of Lexus IS500 car

Case Study: Step Into Luxury with Lexus

Gear Patrol x Lexus

“The Upgrade”, presented by Lexus, is a Gear Patrol moment that rallies around the desire to upgrade into the luxury category; whether it’s your next adventure, your next watch, your next car or your home entertainment setup, “The Upgrade” inspires and educates our readers on how to step into luxury.

The Campaign

Lexus came to Gear Patrol ahead of the launch of their latest model – the IS500 – to tap into our audience of luxury auto enthusiasts. The mission of the campaign was to reach an influential audience in an inspiring and meaningful way through client-supplied video content and high-impact display storytelling.

illustration of Lexus IS500 car

The Result

GPS curated a successful, premium editorial package through 22 published articles, 11 dedicated emails, high impact media display and custom aesthetic and illustrations. The campaign achieved higher than average impressions, pageviews, and amplified the Lexus brand name to our audience of enthusiasts.

Illustration of jeans laying flat with money peaking out of back pocket

We had a chance to catch up with Stacey Cho, Associate Media Director at Team-One, to get her thoughts on the campaign and partnering with Gear Patrol.

"As a historical partner of Lexus and Team One, each initiative with Gear Patrol has not only been successful, but also exciting to ideate and execute. Gear Patrol continues to be a tested performer from a consumer engagement standpoint, offering high quality content that resonates with Lexus’ affluent audience.

“The Upgrade” was another example of a collaborative partnership, ensuring each piece of editorial content had strong alignment with specific passion points through thoughtful consideration and feedback from both parties."

Illustration on wine bottles lined up

Check out The Upgrade, Presented by Lexus campaign here.

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Headshot of Jeremy Smith

Client Spotlight: Jeremy Smith, Co-Founder of Standard & Strange

We caught up with Jeremy Smith, Co-Founder of Standard & Strange to talk marketing, brand partnerships and his essential gear. Scroll down for the full interview.

Tell us a little about yourself and the genesis of Standard & Strange.

My background is wide and deep. I’ve done literally everything from driving moving trucks to founding and running a consumer electronics company as the COO. Generally I tell people I spent about 20 years in the tech industry while slowly building up my apparel and retail skills.

headshot of Jeremy Smith and team member against a black background

Selecting unique, hard to find brands is a hallmark of Standard & Strange; how do you choose who to partner with and what are some things you look for when cultivating these partnerships?

Good product made by good people, but really, the people come first. We’ll pass on a brand with great product if we don’t love the people behind it. I could spend hours writing about how / why we select what we sell, we go very deep into the how and why of each product that we select.

What is the one piece of clothing you always bring with you when you travel?

That’s a tough one, it changes a bit with the season but our Wakayama Special loopwheeled tees we made in Japan are always in my bag. That and compression socks from Comrad.

Standard and Strange team sitting around a dinner table

How do you approach media partnerships, and what are some reasons why you've partnered with Gear Patrol, specifically?

I am slow and suspicious when it comes to media partnerships – I’ve had my fingers burned many times over the years. I look for high quality content, with a readership that is in our target audience, and with good people working for them. Gear Patrol checked all those boxes, and the team genuinely cares about what we do, vs other media outlets in our market that just churn and burn listicles of the newest drops.

Do you think it's important for brands to work with publishers like Gear Patrol? Why?

Absolutely. Finding the right set of partners who can help create and publish great content that lives forever online is essential these days.

You opened a store in New York City last year and started a foray into the whiskey and spirits game. What’s next for Standard & Strange?

The next year for us is focusing on our website, building out more deep content of our own, and in partnership with Gear Patrol. We’re also working on a lot more house brand products, along with some other initiatives that we will reveal over time.

You clearly have a passion for giving back to the community; tell us why that’s so important to you and perhaps how our readers can get involved. 

It comes back to our identity as brick and mortar retailers. We can’t have stores if we don’t give back to the communities that surround those shops. We’re committed to proving that even in an impossibly hard industry, it’s still possible to be a good citizen, and a good employer.

It’s easy for anyone to get involved, it’s a matter of looking around and seeing what the needs are near you. Time is as valuable as money when it comes to helping, and the best time to help is always now (especially as we get away from the holiday season).

Standard and Strange team of 5 posing for a portrait

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Client Spotlight: Mark Schermers, Fractional CMO, Marketing Strategy and Business Transformation at AETHER Apparel

Tell us a little about yourself. What is your role at AETHER?

I’m what I like to call a Fractional CMO. It’s an odd term but I think it’s actually a great thing — and a great resource for the current business environment. After years of working with big brands and startups alike, I came to realize almost every brand needs high-level marketing thinking to scale and transform their business but in addition, are not ready for it 100% full-time. So by me being fractional, I come in with a certain level of flexibility that allows me to really dig in and help a brand find their north star and then see through key points of execution — on a scale that’s right for the brand. At AETHER, I’ve been working closely with the team on getting the brand story out into the world — something I’ve been really enjoying as there is so much to tell, the product is so well designed and such good quality. I was actually a huge fan of the brand long before we started working together.

With an unprecedented year under our belts, how has AETHER had to evolve its marketing strategy?  What are some accomplishments you’re proud of in 2020 despite the sudden shift?

AETHER is a people-first business. Jonah and Palmer, the two founders, are salt of the earth humans who really understand the value of the team behind AETHER. The pandemic wasn’t easy for us — AETHER had been a brand that really treated our retail environments as marketing experiences and all of a sudden those were just ...gone. So we had to pivot — fast — into telling an interesting brand story online and really driving ecomm. It hasn't been easy but I think some great things have come out of it. I’m so impressed by how our teams have managed to create amazing work through different touchpoints that really speak to the personality of the brand, whether that’s our new brand campaign, which I love, the launch of the AETHER ‘Alpine Alfa’ restomod adventure vehicle or the drive-in movie experience we did mid-pandemic, allowing people to enjoy a safe but fun night out in style.

AETHER ‘Alpine Alfa’ restomod adventure vehicle outside with mountains in background

What’s been one of your favorite projects or campaigns that you’ve worked on with AETHER?

Our recent ‘You Only Get One Spin’ brand campaign is a personal favorite of mine because I think it’s so right for the brand but it also speaks to me as an individual too. I really believe that as humans, we’re restless at heart. But despite that, we can often end up in routines and monotony.

This campaign is a way of reminding people that life is short — make it count. Go out, explore, live, take the wrong turn — don’t let your clothes, or your dreams, become moth food.
Being able to have a human insight on that level but tie it back to a brand whose focus is outdoor and adventure gear is to me an amazing marriage of strategy and creativity. I’m also biased but I happen to think the execution is thumb-stoppingly beautiful. It just gets people thinking, “what is this?” and then pairs this beautiful imagery with really powerful messaging that resonates for the brand.

What are some brand ethos that you try to incorporate into each of your campaigns and what is the most rewarding part of that?

I love unlocking the potential in a brand and with AETHER the process of that has been great because there’s so much good there already. The product is amazing, from the purposeful and versatile design to the commitment to quality and longevity with our lifetime guarantee. The people are exceptional, smart, talented and community-focussed. The team really lives the product but beyond that, they are really passionate about their community and giving back so we try to include these pieces in our campaigns. This isn’t just some anonymous multinational company churning out gear and telling you a story — these are real individuals who really put their heart and soul into everything they do.

How do you think about media partnerships, and what are some reasons that you've partnered with Gear Patrol specifically?

We look at partnerships in terms of the synergies we can create with our audiences but also, from a human level too. Who are the people who have the same innate curiosity around design and adventure as we do?

For us, that’s been a big part of the relationship with Gear Patrol. We’re excited by what Gear Patrol is doing and think it’s a great place to tell our story while giving people a peek under the hood of AETHER. We also think our product is a great match for the Gear Patrol audience. I mean, if you’re going to talk about the best products to take on your adventure - well we think AETHER should be on those lists!

Do you have any gear that you can’t live or leave without?

I’ve been a fan of AETHER long before I started working at AETHER. I think the product travels so well. Right now I’m in rainy Amsterdam and have my Meridian Jacket with me which has been a lifesaver here. In LA, I’m a huge advocate of the Santo Pullover. For motorcycling, I love the Mojave Jacket and I snowboard in the Stealth Snow Jacket and pants. So it’s a little bit contingent on what I’m doing but I love the stuff. Oh, and the Down Poncho! We brought two of those on a trip recently and they were used as pillows in the car, windbreakers out on a boat and then as the best thing you could dream of putting on next to the fire pit. By the time we left I think everyone wanted one - they’re pretty cool.

Mark in AETHER snow jacket with googles outside in snow.

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Employee Spotlight: Matt Pastorius, Business Development Manager

Meet Matt Pastorius, Gear Patrol's New Business Development Manager

Join us in welcoming Gear Patrol's latest Partnership's team addition. With enthusiasm, a fresh perspective, and diverse background in marketing and creative strategy, Matt's here to develop and grow GP's Direct Response advertising business. We sat down with Matt to talk all things sales, strategy, and skateboarding.

Welcome to the team, Matt! Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in Pittsburgh and raised in New Jersey. My two favorite things on earth are performing on-stage – whether in a theatrical role or as the lead singer of my band – as well as snowboarding. Human connection and creative self-expression are my lifeblood.

What's something that really excites you about joining the GP crew?

Being surrounded by people, brands and products that inspire me every single day.

This wouldn't be a proper introduction if you didn't share with us your favorite piece of gear and why you currently can't live without it.

My favorite piece of gear has got to be my record player. It sat in my father’s garage for probably thirty years and isn’t the highest quality, but it works like a dream. I love its simplicity and tactile nature, but the sound that comes from vinyl records...there’s something so warm and refreshingly rough about it that can’t be replicated. I try to listen to a new record every day – it helps me slow down and really listen to the story being told.

You mentioned being a Gear Patrol fan prior to joining the team. How do you plan to translate your knowledge of a GP consumer into a sales-driven role?

Being an avid fan of Gear Patrol for nearly a decade certainly helps to understand and be able to articulate what Gear Patrol is in a natural way. But beyond that, I genuinely believe in Gear Patrol as the authentic authority in product journalism. I hope that this passion and conviction comes through in every conversation I have with partners.

You're coming in here with a fresh, new perspective. What's your vision for the future of the Partnership's team as we continue to build relationships in a virtual world?

I don’t have a traditional sales background, so I plan on using my experience in marketing and creative strategy to try different things and approach conversations with an open mind. Despite the fact that we’re building partnerships on a mostly virtual level for now, my goal remains the same: build strong working relationships based on trust, empathy and efficacy.

With our new normal, what have you been up to outside of work? Any fun hobbies or projects that you've been working on?

A bunch of stuff! I can’t sit still. Hiking, yoga, and skateboarding – even though I’d never skateboarded a day in my life until last year. Anything that gets me up and outdoors.

We're so happy you're here, Matt, and can't wait to see what you accomplish. Any last words?

To our partners: I’m not here to sell you anything. I’m here to welcome you to Gear Patrol and find the right solutions for you based on your goals and interests. I can’t wait to speak with you all! Go Steelers.

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