The North Face Goes For Epic Adventure In First-Ever Global Ad Campaign

The new spot shines a light on a variety of explorers to inspire the rest of us.

Last year, The North Face enlisted My Morning Jacket to invoke Woody Guthrie’s classic “This Land Is Your Land” for some inspiring outdoor exploration. Now the brand is launching its first-ever global campaign, and is moving its lens from the land to focus on the people adventuring out in the world.


Created by agency Mekanism, the new commercial seamlessly moves from action sports to outdoor professionals like a photographer and marine biologist, all to spread the spirit of adventure. Some of the footage is taken from other upcoming brand content projects. The paramotor scene in Alaska is the setting for a film about The North Face-sponsored athlete Xavier de Le Rue called Degrees North, while the climbers up the ridge are part of The North Face Summit Series trip to Nepal titled “The Other Way,” part of the brand’s upcoming virtual reality experience in November.

But beyond the expected awe-inspiring images of backcountry skiing and sheer-face rock climbing, there’s a less extreme nod to the brand’s aims in the booming active-apparel market, with people jumping off a bridge to swim with friends, and eating some tasty treats in a foreign locale.

The North Face president Todd Spaletto says the new campaign aims to go beyond showcasing people pushing their physical limits to include their intellectual and creative capabilities.

“As we’ve seen consumers around the world evolve their priorities in the outdoors and seek out greater challenges and pursuits, from Beijing to Boston, it became clear that we had a relevant global message to share that could impact the way people explore,” says Spaletto. “We looked at global consumer insights and saw powerful, shared beliefs of people’s drive for excellence and strength. People want to do something challenging and feel strong doing it. We paired our findings with community-level research to truly understand the nuances and needs of consumers. The result is a spot that connects personally with people around the world in an authentic, rich, and powerful way.”

This year, The North Face continues its partnership with the U.S. Department of Interior to support the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, which employs young people and returning veterans to protect, restore, and enhance public lands all across the country. The brand is donating $100,000 to be divided among four corps members who are running programs that range from encouraging young people to pursue conservation careers, to helping Navajo youth work to rebuild damaged ecosystems, to a nonprofit disaster-response organization that teams military veterans with first responders.

The brand’s first-ever global campaign is set to run in 12 markets, including the U.S., Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, France, China, Korea, Australia, Nepal, and Singapore.


About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.