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Adventure Advertising came into being in large part when we landed Shimano’s Fishing Division as our client, in 2004. They weren’t happy with the big-city agencies, who knew very little about fishing, and they knew that we had an outdoor pedigree thanks to Hooked on the Outdoors Magazine, which we created and published.

The question was, what we would do differently with their creative? Shimano reels are beautiful, sculpted pieces, yet no one had highlighted this seemingly obvious trait. Their reputation for quality was well-known, so how do you ignite a visceral, “I gotta have one” feeling in your customer?

And so our relationship with Shimano was born, with the “Jewelry For Men” approach in their ads and catalogs. The reels (and rods too) were featured in dramatically lit settings, as if displayed on black felt in a jewelry store.

Eventually the competition began mirroring our look, and we pivoted to a new, yet analogous tactic. While maintaining the focus on the visceral qualities of fishing (while using Shimano products), we shifted to images and headlines emphasizing the experience, and the technical advantages of the product