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Create a triplet poster campaign which aims to inspire the next generation of young female outdoor enthusiasts using powerful brand storytelling. The concept should focus on diversity and inclusivity, to help draw in in a new target market for the brand.
Young progressive, ambitious women interested in the outdoors
(Ages 20-30 yrs old)
AAF's "American Advertising Awards" (ADDY)
for Student Awards - Poster Campaign
• GOLD Award (District 2)
Graphis Institute Competition's "2021 New Talent Annual" - Advertising Category
• SILVER Award
The North Face
Art Director •
In an athletic field where the primary consumers catered towards are older and male, The North Face wants to transition from their traditional target demographic with a more progressive future in mind. The business understands how connecting with the younger generation of female outdoor enthusiasts through strong brand relationships built from inspiring storytelling is imperative when driving a more inclusive change. The class assignment required students to create a poster series consisting of 3 triplet styled designs for their ad campaign.
The North Face’s primary aim is to enable female empowerment and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) through strong brand storytelling.
The creative brief also outlined the brand’s desired tone of voice, simple and honest:
Grounded: Fewer taglines and puns. Be honest.
In the know: Share, don’t sell. Be knowledgeable, not elitist. Be inclusive, not exclusive.
Confident: No need to overstate or oversell.
No fluff, just knowledge.
Unexpected: Dare to disrupt. Embrace spont-aneity when the story or subject matter allows it. Edge, personality and humor are ok. No slapstick, nothing offensive or polarizing."
This insight helped me develop potential campaign ideas. One of my proposal ideas, which I decided on pursuing, was based on an idea of "Breaking Past Adversity." Women would be visualized in extremely athletic situations with words of adversity, such as negative/offensive stereotypical phrases and nicknames,
surrounding them and then quietly fade into the distance as they both literally and metaphorically "break past adversity."
The cries of mockery fall silent as these women showcase their might, leaving the words in the dust as they continue to push forward. Nothing can stop them.
For this campaign, I didn't want to over-saturate the message with "femininity," despite the objective – inspire the next generation of female explorers. Not all women are the same, look the same, or are into the same stereotypical interests like: kawaii, fashion, makeup, pastels, etc. There's absolutely nothing wrong with females (or males) liking those things, but trying to target women using that form of imagery/visuals in the marketing materials would be extremely pious.
If the brand wants to accurately represent people who identify themselves as female, it would be hypocritically against the message The North Face is trying to promote using the tactics aforementioned.
This is why when other peers utilized defined female models/portraiture, pastel color palettes, and feminine aesthetics, I still felt the visuals I chose for my project were accurate to the message I wanted to convey.
I also tried maintaining the tone of voice as directed by The North Face's guideline in my copywriting – simple, yet confident. In line with the idea of the campaign, I created the tagline "Break Free." The period is a subtle, but essential aspect of the text.
“Break Free.” ends in a period to resolutely state how you (women), and only you, can break away from the world’s expectations and be who you want to be and there is no question about that. The small scale of the tagline allows the whole image to breath and flow easily, a very airy sensation. This feeling accompanies the ad's message by conveying this sense of freedom and life.
Young women can now view The North Face as a viable brand to invest in because it supports their journey, not just in outdoor
activities but also in life.