The North Face is expanding its brand message beyond extreme outdoor sports with a new campaign that likens exploration to trying something new. An initiative called “New Explorers” aims to inspire “exploration as a mindset” through a series of short films, pop-up music performances and a new Instagram community.
For the past 50 years, mountain sports has been The North Face’s brand identity. While they don’t intend to change this strategy, the brand can reach a wider audience by appealing to other forms of exploration like overcoming fears or being creative.
“Whether you’re a mountaineer or a musician, what connects us all as explorers is a shared mindset of curiosity paired with the courage to try something new,” said Tom Herbst, global vice president of marketing at The North Face in a press release. “This campaign will work to expand that spirit of exploration through different cultural touchpoints in music and art as well as our traditional mountain sports.”
The North Face is spreading the idea of exploration as a mindset through a series of short films that feature “New Explorers” on different walks of life. The series features rapper/producer Pi’erre Bourne, snowboarder Jess Kimura, filmmaker Jimmy Chin and activist Mikhail Martin, among others.
A series of pop-up concerts will take place throughout the fall in partnership with New York City musicians. Each musician, beginning with Pi’erre Bourne, will choose their venue and reflect on how that particular neighborhood contributed to their individual style. Each performance will have a theme of getting out of one’s own comfort zone.
The location of each concert will be a secret, but fans can receive hints and updates through a newly created Instagram page called The North Face City. The new Instagram account is intended to foster a community around exploration.
Three new spots will launch alongside the campaign, each examining the difference between the messages we receive from “curiosity,” “hesitation” and “exploration.” The brief videos each depict a situation in which someone embodies the explorer mindset—venturing out into the rain, camping on top of a mountain and traveling to a new place, all featuring The North Face products.
In addition to the new campaign, The North Face is tapping into nostalgia, as well. On September 26, the brand will re-release its 1996 Nuptse Jacket, which will be prominently worn throughout the “New Explorers” campaign.