[Case Study] MSR #48HourEpic Campaign / by Molly Hawkins

What would you do if you had just 48 hours and an ultralight pack of overnight gear? MSR + We Are Unicorns answer that question with the #48HourEpic campaign.  

Case Study: MSR #48HourEpic Campaign

  • HQ: Seattle, WA
    Industry: Outdoor Equipment Brand, Retail and direct online
    We Are Unicorn Partner Since: 2012
    Services Provided: Campaign strategy, landing page design and wireframes, development coordination, asset creation, posting, ad targeting, deployment and reporting
    Channel Activated: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Instagram Stories, Email, Website, paid placement, ambassadors  

Last spring, Facebook and Instagram updated their algorithms to decrease growth and engagement for brands. While these platforms continue to evolve towards pay-to-play models, there are levers a brand can pull to defend itself against declining organic reach. By using unique (user-generated) content that focused on storytelling, we’d figured it would buck the trend and keep MSR in its leading position on social.

Mountain Safety Research (MSR), is one of the world's leading brands for innovative products in the outdoor industry. Their stoves, tents, snowshoes, poles, cookware, and water treatment devices are irreplaceable to their customers. Through supportive customer service and warranties, quality engineering/manufacturing, and engaging social media strategy, MSR is surrounded by a very loyal customer base that is not afraid to give shout outs on social.  We Are Unicorns created a social campaign curated to this audience, encouraging MSR fans to push what is thought possible to accomplish in a 48 hour time frame and to celebrate the #unrulydreamer. 

The idea came about last year when MSR created an internal employee challenge to test the newly developed TRAILSHOT™ -- an ultralight, pocket-sized addition to their water filter lineup. Due to the positive employee response and participation, MSR wanted to open up the challenge to all of their fans and customers to support the public launch of the TrailShot.  


Thus, the #48HourEpic campaign was born. Not just a social campaign, we planned specialized content for email, social, web, and blog to support the #48HourEpic.

Fans were asked to submit their adventure by attaching the #48HourEpic hashtag to their Instagram post or by uploading to a WAU-designed landing page -- hosted on msrgear.com


WAU designed and managed all of the creative surrounding this campaign and created the wireframe/specs for our development partner to build.

Once the challenge was live, we executed the campaign: WAU created all posts, ads, and built specific audiences to drive traffic, build awareness, and increase engagement.


We were strategic with a limited ad spend by optimizing and adjusting our audiences throughout the campaign, which helped increase our paid reach and amplify our organic reach.  


  • Awareness: Drove over a million impressions
  • Traffic: Drove thousands of visits to MSRGear.com
  • Engagement: The average person came back 3 times to check out the contest
  • Engagement: Thousands of votes
  • Engagement: Over a thousand entries
  • Growth: We saw our overall all growth and engagement level increase over the 3 months of the campaign.  
  • Hundreds of high quality UGC images and videos to share throughout the year, telling the story of MSR’s #unrulydreamers

We’d like to thank the team at MSR for working with us!. We had a ton of fun! If you are interested in what WAU can do for you, please send us an email or hit us up on Facebook or Instagram.