The company is still using its long-running “Never stop exploring” theme, and “while this is not a new message for us, it’s an opportunity to change the way we express it,” says Courtney Blacker, director of brand marketing. “It goes beyond the physical, and takes in the outer edges of our intellectual, emotional and creative capabilities.”
The spot, created by Mekanism, focuses on the face of a young girl as she takes in action scenes of North Face athletes as they mountaineer, ski and snowboard, but also includes glimpses into the explorations of a photographer, marine biologist and scientist.
A 75-second version of the video is running on You Tube and other digital channels. And in the U.S., 30 and 60-second spots are scheduled for networks, live sports, including “Sunday Night Football” and college games, as well as Comedy Central. She says the campaign is also running with its partners in the U.K, France, Germany, China, Singapore, Nepal, and Hong Kong.
Last year, the company focused its brand campaign around a spot featuring a moody version of “This Land is Your Land,” performed by My Morning Jacket and — fueled by a 50% increase in ad spending — kicked off a partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior. “That drove a great fourth quarter for us,” she says, “and besides being an award-winning spot, began a very successful partnership with the Department of the Interior.”
This year’s effort, she tells Marketing Daily, reflects a 40% increase over that undisclosed amount. And while it continues its partnership with the Department of Interior and 21st Century Conservation Corps, it’s also the brand’s first unified global approach. “This is one cohesive storytelling initiative, running in all our markets,” she says.
The company, owned by VF Corp., is making an additional $100,000 donation, with $25,000 going to four different conservation corps organizations.
In its most recent quarterly results, VF says sales for the North Face gained 10%, driven by gains in the mid-teens in Europe and low-double digits in the Asia-Pacific region.