Columbia Sportswear launched “Tested Tough,” a new global branding initiative inspired by the company’s Pacific Northwest heritage that again features Chairman Gert Boyle, and her son and Columbia Sportswear CEO, Tim Boyle.

“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,” said Stuart Redsun, Columbia Sportswear
Company chief marketing officer. “The Tested Tough brand platform
kicks off this fall, with the largest global campaign in our history. We
are excited to showcase the rigor and fun that goes into Columbia
product testing from our own backyard: Portland, OR, and the Pacific

Columbia’s “Tested Tough” global campaign also marks
the return to advertising of Columbia’s 91-year-old matriarch and
Chairman of the Board, Gert Boyle. For many years, she ensured the
product quality was up to her stringent standards by testing it in the
harshest and most surprising of conditions on her son. Today, it’s no
longer just CEO Tim Boyle testing product at his mother’s forceful
behest. It’s every Columbia employee who comes to work in the
rain-soaked, snow-covered, wind-beaten Pacific Northwest, and every
employee who heads to the mountains, lakes, rivers, and trails on the

Boyle once famously said, “It’s perfect. Now make it
better,” and this mantra is reflected across the campaign in a stamp
that bears her signature. The stamp is Columbia's promise that its
products have been “tested tough” by Columbia employees and live up to
the high standards of Mrs. Boyle. “We’ve always known that if our
product passed my tests in the Pacific Northwest, then it would pass
people’s tests as well,” said Gert Boyle, Columbia Sportswear company chairman of the board.

The global campaign will kick off in early
October, with broadcast, print, out of home, digital, retail and social
elements rolling out in 63 markets across Europe, Asia, South America
and North America.

Key Highlights:

TV Spots: She’s
back. Columbia’s iconic chairman and tough mother Gert Boyle has
returned to ensure her gear is “Tested Tough” by sending her employees
out in the most miserable conditions of the Pacific Northwest. These can
be viewed at:

“Ski Rescue”

“Snow Shovel”

“Nature Calls”

To bring #TestedTough to life, Columbia has created a digital campaign
hub at Ever-evolving, it will host all
#TestedTough content and related social campaigns. Most importantly, the
site 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.

Outside Magazine Partnership:

To launch the work in print, Columbia partnered up with the leading
active lifestyle publication, Outside Magazine, taking over their Winter
Buyer’s Guide by running a faux cover (the first ever for Outside) as
well as running additional impact placements that further bring the
#TestedTough story to light.

Directors of Toughness: As an extension of the brand campaign, Columbia has hired two “Directors of Toughness.”
outdoor enthusiasts, selected from a pool of thousands of applicants,
will be introduced to America on October 12, on an episode of ABC’s
“Jimmy Kimmel Live.” From there, the Directors will embark on a paid
six-month adventure around the world to test the company’s range of
apparel, outerwear, footwear and equipment. Throughout a myriad of
chronicled, exhilarating tasks, the Directors of Toughness will be
pushed beyond physical limits to demonstrate that Columbia products keep
people comfortable and protected in any weather or geography. Consumers
can follow their exploits through social channels via the #TestedTough

You can view an overview at:
Directors of Toughness:

Employee-Focused Video Series:
Starting later this month, Columbia will launch their own “Employee
Generated Content.” Videos starring real Columbia employees putting
their company’s gear through the ringer while participating in various
outdoor activities, ranging from hikes on the beach with family to
snowboarding. At Columbia, every employee takes “Tested Tough” seriously
and personally. Two of the employee videos can be viewed here:

“McKenzie River”

“Ecola State Park”

Out of Home Advertising:
High impact out of home placements will be showcased in wallscapes,
billboards, transit shelters and station dominations across the globe.

Digital: The
fall campaign will include targeted local and national outreach that
includes ads triggered by weather based on the local markets and their
weather conditions. It will also include a heavy mobile program that
will cover geo-fencing retailers, weather triggered units, and mobile

The brand agency behind this campaign is North, based in Portland, Oregon, USA. To learn more about “Tested Tough,” visit