ALAMEDA, CA – Octover 14, 2016 -- In honor of its 50th anniversary, The North Face today unveiled its new global brand campaign, “Question Madness,” and announced the opening of its first ever New York flagship store on Fifth Avenue. The campaign and flagship store are the next evolution in The North Face’s rise as a global market leader from humble beginnings as a single storefront in San Francisco in 1966. Over those five decades, the brand’s commitment to exploration – from the peaks of the Himalayas to the sidewalks of Manhattan – has remained unchanged, and continues to drive the brand’s work across retail, advertising and customer engagement.
The 2016 campaign’s digital content series showcases athletes from throughout the brand’s history finding joy and fulfillment along their own paths of exploration as they break perceptions, redefine success, and inspire others to do the same. The campaign features breathtaking imagery captured from remote places around the world, with much of the footage shot by the athletes themselves while on expedition and is set to Cat Stevens’ Miles From Nowhere.
“Question Madness” examines individual motives for exploration and the gratification that comes from pushing norms and boundaries. As a brand, The North Face is challenging how achievement is defined – and hoping to inspire consumers to do the same – while promoting the notion that exploration is about moving forward as individuals and as a society.
“This campaign comes at a time in our brand’s history when exploration – of all kinds – matters more than ever,” says Todd Spaletto, President, The North Face. “As a society, we are questioning traditions, systems and institutions. What was considered beyond the norm yesterday, even impossible, is commonplace today. We rally behind and celebrate those who have the courage to take on the unknown and define success in their own way.”
Stacy Peralta, a legendary skateboarder, surfer and filmmaker, and Director of the campaign’s digital shorts, explains, “The fine line between progress and madness is something athletes cross and re-cross daily. I’ve spent time around athletes and in my opinion they’re really misunderstood. The rest of us assume it’s madness, but what they’re chasing isn’t a tangible reward – it’s greater than that. It’s about using every single fiber of your being to pull something off, and when you finally get there, it’s unbelievably liberating. When everything else is stripped away, and it’s just you and the moment – that’s the greatest feeling on earth.”
The “Question Madness” campaign will launch on Facebook and be distributed globally throughout the fourth quarter in more than 16 markets including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. It will appear on online media around the world, as well as via out-of-home executions.
“Question Madness” features The North Face athletes Xavier De La Rue, Emily Harrington, Alex Honnold and Renan Ozturk. To accompany the anthem The North Face also created a handful of digital shorts featuring athlete stories, including Renan Ozturk, Alex Honnold and Angel Collinson.
Consumers are invited to share the stories of how they are pushing their own boundaries in the pursuit of exploration on social channels using #QuestionMadness.
In honor of the brand’s legacy, The North Face is celebrating its path forward by opening its first-ever New York flagship on Fifth Avenue. The new store offers consumers an immersive brand experience including an interactive climbing wall, community seating and a Lot, Stock and Barrel custom embroidery service. The store will also feature custom product available only at the Fifth Avenue location, including a limited edition Original Daypack collection; a collaboration with lifestyle brand, New Era; and, on-site product customization featuring vintage and new collectible patches in partnership with Lot, Stock and Barrel.
To ensure the brand-authentic experience, most of the items in the store were created using the same high-quality materials The North Face products are designed with, down to the nylon and aluminum poles used to build the changing rooms. Architects collaborated with The North Face equipment team on the design to ensure consumers feel comfortable and inspired from the moment they walk in the door.
The flagship is a natural extension of the brand’s expansion into urban exploration. As of the 2010 US Census, 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in an urban area. The next generation of explorers are likely to live, or grow up, in or near a densely populated urban environment and The North Face is committed to outfitting its consumers for any aspect of their daily journeys, whether protecting against elements in the city or prepping for adventures on the mountain.