The four extreme environments challenge

Posted: December 2022

Rewarding travel experiences don’t always come in the shape of luxury city breaks or beach holidays.

Sometimes they are experiences which reflect a personal challenge. They extricate us from our comfort zones and push boundaries of what we feel is possible, creating lifelong memories in the process.

The rise in popularity and accessibility to extreme locations as per a report by LSN, can be cleverly integrated into consumer prize promotions across a range of brands: sportswear, adventure clothing, latest tech gadgets or digital cameras, to name just a few.

Japanese clothing brand, UNIQLO, asked the NDL Group to provide promotion management to help raise awareness of their product, AIRism – innerwear that helps keep you cool – to Londoners.  As the British tend to remove clothes when it’s hot, not add them, AIRism was then new to the UK, and relatively unknown.

UNIQLO created an online campaign centred around commuters, positioning AIRism products as an essential item for hot summer journeys. They challenged participants to pack their ideal commuter survival kit, a ‘Qlommuter kit’, comprising of four items (including one from a selection of AIRism products) and enter into a prize draw.  Read the full case study here.

To put the NDL creative juices to the test, we recently challenged our rewards, prizes and incentives team to come up with four different travel prize concepts, each supporting an extreme weather environment.  Here’s what they came up with:


Atacama Desert, Chile – The driest desert on planet earth

This South American desert spans 105,000 square kilometres (41,000 sq. mi) and is mostly covered by stony terrain, salt lakes and sand. There are some weather stations in the Atacama where no rain has ever been recorded, making it the driest place on Earth.

In a landscape so harsh, you may think there would be little reason to visit, but you’d be wrong. Obscure rock formations and dunes of the Valley of the Moon, the changing colours of the Valley of Mars and the Cordillera de la Sal, make 40º C days in the Atacama incredible. By night, temperatures fall as low as 5º C, and clear skies reveal why astronomers are drawn to the Atacama Desert Observatory.

With dramatically changeable temperatures, the Atacama is not only beautiful, but the ideal location for the prize winner to test out any brand that claims extreme weather protection.


“The salt lake Salar de Talar with surrounding volcanoes in the Atacama Desert, Chile.”


Amazon Rainforest, Brazil – One of the wettest locations on planet earth

From one extreme to another. With the accolade of ‘rainforest’, it should be self-explanatory. The wet season spans late January through early May when most riverine plants fruit and flower, plus animals are commonly spotted. During the dry season, it also typically rains at some point most days, hence the term ‘rainforest’.

The Amazon is one of the last frontiers of untouched rainforest, equally magical and spectacular. The best methods for exploring the Amazon are on foot and in small motorised boats. Both options would give the winner the chance to leave the main river artery and explore behind the green curtain. Eco-systems thrive in almost every plant and trees have adapted spikes over thousands of years as a defence mechanism. Bullet ants live in hollow trees, and vines and roots wait to trip people up on wet and uneven surfaces.

Having the correct equipment for a wet environment such as this is vital, as it is for safety and protection.


The Amazon in Brazil


Sahara Desert, Morocco – One of the hottest climates on earth

Africa’s Sahara is the third largest desert and earned the reputation as one of the hottest and harshest places on earth. The Moroccan summer from June to September can be unbearably hot, averaging around 45ºC during peak daytime hours. Rainfall in southern Morocco is almost non-existent throughout the year.

The soaring peaks and shifting sands of Erg Chebbi dunes are the archetypal Sahara landscape that people imagine when they think of the Sahara. They morph and change shape from day to day, glowing blood red during the day, and rippling in the breeze. Erg Chebbi dunes are the quintessential introduction to Sahara life for the prize winner, turning the dunes into an overheated playground.

A common error in hot climates such as this is to remove clothing layers, whereas wearing the correct and light clothing is essential to help keep the body cool.


Camel caravan on to the next camping point


Antarctica – The coldest place on planet earth

From one desert to another. Antarctica is the poster child for an extreme environment. All you need to do is read when Ernest Shackleton and his men were stranded there through the winter, and you’ll appreciate the harsh remoteness of this land.

Despite the average summer temperatures struggling to get above -20°C, it’s surprising to see such a wealth of wildlife including penguins, whales, and seals thriving in these conditions.

When staff member Iain Shiels travelled there in summer, the contrast between day and night, morning and afternoon was barely recognisable. Storms blow in without warning and glaciers crack from the suns heat. A combination of blizzards and sheer cold make the frozen continent the perfect place for a prize winner to test adventure clothing.

When exploring the 7th continent, packing your luggage with brands suitable against the harshest of conditions has never been so important.


Would these extreme themes help promote your brand message?  Talk to us about a fresh look at your prize incentives and promotions.

Phone: 020 7428 1200



Mountain peak covered with white snow in Antarctica

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