SXSW: Spotify Lets The North Face Release Campaign Where It Rains


The North Face Apex jacket

In the second jacket announcement at South by Southwest, following Google and Levi’s Jacquard news, The North Face and Spotify on Monday launched a campaign celebrating rain and its first fully waterproof softshell rain jacket.

In addition, the brand’s “Seek No Shelter” campaign for the jacket (the opposite of the The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” in a sense) uses geotargeting technology for the release of a song for the first time.

The North Face, along with rock band White Denim and Spotify, announced the weather-triggered release of White Denim’s rain-themed track “No Nee Ta Slode Aln” which will become available on Spotify only in U.S. markets where it is raining. The song is also the soundtrack for the campaign promoting The North Face’s new rain jacket, the Apex Flex GTX.

“Seek No Shelter” is the tagline for the largest spring product launch from The North Face to day, and a first campaign for new VP of Marketing Tom Herbst.

“Our entire brand is based around the idea that adverse and changing conditions aren’t just to be tolerated, they are what shapes a great life lived outdoors,” said Herbst.

The North Face Apex

“For this campaign, we want to change the way people think about rain – as not something to hide from, but something to be sought out and celebrated. Dropping a song only when it is raining is designed to delight, inspire and mimic the same sense of anticipation and excitement that you have when heading into the wild.”

Fans can visit the Seek No Shelter microsite and unlock the single as well as listen to the “Rainy Day Playlist” curated by The North Face.

The campaign also will be supported by advertising across print, digital and social media channels such as Wired, Shape, Outside, Men’s Journal, ESPN, The Weather Channel, Hulu, YouTube and Instagram starting today. There will also be out-of-home activations across the U.S.

Apex Flex technology is available in two styles, Apex Flex GTX Jacket for $199.00 MSRP, an active-fit, and Apex Flex GTX Disruptor Parka for $230.00 MSRP, a longer fit.

White Denim will debut the weather-inspired song before an audience at SXSW on Thursday in an immersive experience where the stage is transformed into the eye of a storm while the band performs.

Such geotargeting — targeting ads to specific geographic locations — is an exciting opportunity for other brands, as Fast Company notes,

As brand platforms go, Spotify presents a rather unique prospect for potential partners. And here, The North Face takes full advantage, turning the idea of a rainy day playlist into a marketing opportunity. The streaming service has already demonstrated its weather-specific, geo-targeting prowess last month with an Accuweather collaboration called Climatune, but this new partnership brings even more exclusivity.