Earlier in the year, Portland, Oregon ad agency Roundhouse sent one of their copywriters into the wilderness with client products to survive for one week and created a documentary to record the whole process. Living Off the Brands follows Lee Kimball over the course of five days as he sets forth into the wild with nothing but clients’ brands to help him get through the ordeal.
“I yearned to understand that casual claim and make it my credo,” Kimball says. “It was my desire to exist…persist…and persevere in the wilderness armed with only my body, my mind and the products of Roundhouse’s clients.”
The documentary starts with Kimball searching for a lake after being dropped off near Oregon’s Lower Crooked River. After some stumbling around, he’s able to find it quickly and begins his quest to determine what it actually means to “live your clients’ brands.”
The 16-minute film includes shots of Kimballs using various products, like the Treehouse Drinking Chocolate and Redington clothing, as he attempts to build fires, fish, and forage for food. For Kimball, sourcing food was difficult. At one point in the film, as he nibbles on some grubs, he admits, “Dirt sounds pretty appetizing.”
Kimballs recognizes that his failed ventures are mainly due to “user error,” but he was able to successfully use alcohol to his advantage, such as using Faust wine to cook nettles and bartering Widmer Brothers’ Upheaval IPA with some a fisherman for fish and water.
Thanks to the brands that he was able to use and some ingenuity, Kimball was able to successfully survive in the Oregon wilderness. AdFreak was able to sit down and ask him a few questions. Read the full interview here.