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The North Face drives mobile site sales through new initiative

January 28, 2013

Outdoor gear and apparel giant The North Face is pushing consumers to buy products from its mobile-optimized site via a new mobile campaign.

The company is running a mobile banner ad within ESPN’s mobile site. The North Face has relied on mobile in the past as a way to reach its on-the-go tech-savvy customers.

“The North Face mobile ad campaign appears to be centered on a skier Tom Wallisch, who is presumably the athlete behind the banner ad’s tagline ‘In Tom We Trust’ and ‘See Tom Fly,’” said Simon Buckingham, CEO of Appitalism.

“When you click on the banner ad, you are given the option to ‘Shop by Wallisch Kit,’ which is how I made the connection between Tom and Wallisch,” he said. “This campaign may work well with those consumers who know who this particular athlete is but may not resonate well with those who don’t.

“The North Face may well have been better making the mobile campaign more offer driven and less based on this athlete as that might well drive wider and bigger engagement.”

Mr. Buckingham is not affiliated with The North Face. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

The North Face did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile shopping
The mobile ad reads “In Tom We Trust. See Tom Fly.”

Tom is a professional skier.

However, when consumers tap on the mobile ad, they are not taken to a page where they can see Tom in action.

Rather, users are taken to The North Face’s mobile site where they can shop new arrivals, best sellers, athlete picks and gift cards.

Consumers can also shop by activity, benefit, technology and collection.

Furthermore, users can search for specific products using the functionality at the top of the screen, as well as further connect with the company through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Past efforts
The North Face is no stranger to mobile.

In 2011, the company helped consumers gear up for the holiday season via targeted shoppable mobile ads (see story).

Last year, the company made one last push to drive back-to-school shopping with a campaign that bolstered traffic to the company’s mobile site (see story).

“The campaign continuity is sub-optimal as when and if the banner ad is clicked on, you are taken to the mobile-optimized version of the retailer’s Web site, but there is not much content related to the banner ad beyond the initial ‘Shop by Wallisch Kit’ option,” Mr. Buckingham said.

“The North Face promises to never stop exploring, and hopefully they will never stop evolving and improving their mobile advertising efforts going forwards, otherwise their mobile sales could well go south,” he said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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