Columbia Scales to Towering Heights with New Global Push

The ‘Tested Tough’ campaign kicks off in 63 markets across Europe, North America, and South America and is set to feature executions via broadcast, print, digital, retail, out-of-home, and social media

Columbia Sportswear has rolled out a new long-term global brand platform dubbed ‘Tested Tough’ – a push inspired by the company’s Pacific Northwest heritage and original ‘Tough Mother’ campaign which featured current Chairman, 91-year-old Gert Boyle, and her CEO son, Tim Boyle.

Set to kick off during the early part of October in 63 markets across Europe, South America, and North America, the campaign will see fully-integrated executions using multiple channels such as broadcast, print, out-of-home, retail, digital, and social media.

The television spots produced will feature the Chairman herself and depict Columbia employees being sent out in the most extreme of conditions to test the brand’s product strength and quality. The three commercials are titled Ski Rescue, Snow Shovel, and Nature Calls.

The social aspect of the initiative entails a digital campaign powered by a dedicated website to host all corresponding content and related interactive efforts. The portal will serve as a destination for consumers to share their #TestedTough moments by uploading a photo directly or tagging a post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Columbia Sportswear launches new 'Tested Tough' advertising campaign.
Columbia Sportswear launches new ‘Tested Tough’ advertising campaign.

Tested Tough isn’t just an ad campaign or tagline. It’s the promise of our 77-year-old brand. It’s what motivates each and every employee to build and deliver great products. The platform kicks off this fall with the largest global campaign in our history,” said Stuart Redsun, Chief Marketing Officer of Columbia Sportswear Company.

Print-wise, Columbia has partnered with active lifestyle publication, Outside Magazine, and will take over its Winter Buyer’s Guide by running a faux cover, the first ever for the title, as well as additional impact placements that further highlight the #TestedTough story.

Also, Columbia has hired two ‘Directors of Toughness.’ These outdoor enthusiasts will be introduced on October 12 via an episode of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. The pair will then go on a six-month paid adventure around the world to test the company’s range of apparel, outerwear, footwear, and equipment.

Beginning later this month, the sportswear-maker is slated to launch its own employee generated content. The two videos—McKenzie River and Ecola State Park—will star real Columbia employees as they put the company’s gear through the ringer while participating in outdoor activities ranging from hikes on the beach to snowboarding.

The push features broadcast, print, outdoor, digital, retail and social elements and launches in 63 markets worldwide.
The push features broadcast, print, outdoor, digital, retail and social elements and launches in 63 markets worldwide.

Outdoor placements will use wall-scapes, billboards, transit shelters, and station dominations worldwide. The fall component leverages targeted local and national ads based on the local markets and their weather conditions. The push also entails a mobile programme featuring geo-fencing retailers, weather triggered units, and mobile video.