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A new member to our Account Management team is one of only two people to drive from Maine to New York City inside a 13 foot tall Bootmobile. She also organized a campout of art cars and is a logistics expert, especially when it comes to moving thousands of pounds of cranberries formed in to the Olympic Rings. Meet Laura Carlson, Senior Account Executive.

Give us a little background on your work with L.L.Bean.

In 2012 I was working in PR with Weber Shandwick in Boston and L.L.Bean, one of my clients, was celebrating their 100th anniversary. Their goal for the 100th was to inspire the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts and celebrate their outdoor roots. As part of that, the L.L.Bean Bootmobile was created and became a key component of that message – traveling across the Northeast inspiring people to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. The Bootmobile is a 13 foot tall replica of the original L.L.Bean boot mounted to the bed of a Ford pick-up truck. It traveled around to different events, visited L.L.Bean stores and to sum it up in short, I went with it.

How did you end up being to lucky one to travel inside the boot?

For the launch event in January, I was volunteered to ride inside of the boot from Brunswick, ME to our final destination in NYC. I met the driver in Maine and we actually had to climb into the boot from the back (it didn’t have side doors at the time). We left Maine in the afternoon and it took us about six hours to get to New Jersey – hitting a lot of traffic with plenty of odd stares along the way. On the day of the launch, we drove into NYC at 4:00 AM for a morning show segment with Fox & Friends News. After that we were parked inside Times Square for the majority of the day talking up the launch and the 100th anniversary.

And then it was back inside the boot for the long return trip to Maine?

I actually had a three month break after that while it was sent back to Florida and doors were added to the truck (slight hiccup in the original boot plan). Starting in April, my team LL Bean Bootmobilewas responsible for selecting events the Bootmobile would travel to or we’d create and host our own events. The first big Bootmobile appearance kicked off (no pun intended) in April for Patriots Day in Boston – we were fly-casting in Boston Common. After that it was an interesting summer to say the least, everything required tons of logistics and planning.

I hear you helped organize the first ever art car campout.

I did! At the end of the summer my team brought together the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, the Peeps Peepster, the Lindt chocolate Bunny car and the Bootmobile for a campout at L.L.Bean’s flagship store in Freeport, ME. It was quite the gathering of art cars! We tried to get the Planters Nutmobile to join us, too, but they sadly declined the invitation. An interesting part of the experience was trying to pitch these other agencies to get their art cars involved! The campout was a big success plus it ended up being featured in the Associated Press and the NY Times Wheels Blog.

What other interesting projects have you worked on?

One of my first projects as an intern was working with Ocean Spray and their involvement in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Ocean Spray had created an art installation made out of cranberries; the idea was a mini-bog in the water that was floating thousands of pounds of cranberries formed into the Ocean Spray Cranberry RingsOlympic rings. After moving the bogs in to the water it turned out that the currents were too strong for the installation, so we ended up moving them to a nearby soccer field. The biggest challenge was getting a photo of the installation – we wanted to use a mini-helicopter to get an aerial shot, but had problems with the strict Olympic security! We went very low-tech and attached a camera to long pole to get the photo.

What’s an important lesson you learned last year?

The power of unifying a campaign around a single message. L.L. Bean was the first campaign I was involved with that was fully integrated across all channels – social, digital, PR, advertising, and marketing. Aside from my crazy Bootmobile stories, it was a great experience!

Tell us a little bit about your role here.

Hanging up my Bean boots, I’ll be working as a SAE on the account management team with Middlesex Hospital, Amica and a few projects for The Hartford.