In a move designed to reinforce its commitment to encourage more consumers to embrace outside activities, Merrell Footwear aired its first national television commercial prior to the American Football Conference championship on CBS. The 30-second spot aired during the first half hour of the Subaru Primal Quest adventure race. The commercial is based on the theme, “Let’s Get Outside,” Merrell’s new brand message.

The company feels “Let’s Get Outside” is distinctive because it is an “invitation,” rather than a command, urging people to enjoy being outside. The concept embraces the notion of experiencing the outdoors at whatever level is appropriate and comfortable for each individual.

The television spot, filmed in San Diego, features a young, corporate group feeling the urge to “Get Outside” and moving to the street, the field, the river and the mountain to embrace their need for activity. Merrell collaborated with Barrett Productions, in Missoula, Montana with creative direction and production by Jager Di Paolo Kemp, based in Burlington, Vermont.

“Merrell is taking the role as protagonist to champion the idea of getting outside at whatever performance level suits the consumer,” said Keith Anderson, director of marketing for Merrell. “We recognize that ‘outside’ can mean different settings to different people depending on whether they are city or wilderness based. However, the reward of being outside is the same for all-a healthier lifestyle.”

In conjunction with the television commercial, Merrell will be launching a new advertising initiative that embraces the same concept as the television commercial using tag lines including: “The grass is greener on the outside”; “Better to be lost in the woods than in a maze of cubicles” and; “That crack in the pavement is the earth smiling.” The new ads, which will appear in outdoor and lifestyle consumer magazines, will begin to appear this spring.

“Lifestyle trends are embracing the outside more than ever as seen through an increase in fitness vacations, corporate wellness programs, corporate campus trail systems and city rooftop gardens,” Anderson continued. “We have also seen an expansion of adventure travel and a renewed commitment to a healthier, active lifestyle as evidenced by industry and government initiatives such as Winter Feels Good, the national Get Outdoors program being launched this summer and the Get Fit With Us program. As obesity continues to be a major health threat, we have no choice but to educate consumers about the joy and benefits of the outdoor experience. We need to show that going outside can be in the backyard or outside a corporate campus; it doesn’t have to be three days in the backcountry.”