How many of you cats found an email from TNF dropped into your promo folder this morning? All of us? Good.
I clicked through, because I read 90% of the promos that hit my inbox (Why not? It’s not like any of you are writing to me, and you gotta stay up on what other fools are doing, you know) and I found myself on this page:
TNF coming hard with two other brands’ campaigns!
Some people are aware of the Burton Backyard Project, which produces limited run boards with a lot of flash in regards to design and shapes. But, as is with so many of Burton’s initiatives, no one knows about it. Sure, dealers know because they’re expected to buy into it, but Burton does very little to get information about product into the minds and hands of the general snowboard audience.
Which makes it totally possible for The North Face to swoop in and basically co-opt the concept of “the backyard project”. On exposure alone, Burton can’t compete with the TNF juggernaut. So, the folks in Alameda will probably get more from this campaign than Big B does. At that point, who owns the concept? It also seems to be a bit of a pet project from TNF which could disappear without much notice, screwing Big B from a campaign they’ve been building for years.
Being TNF let the Backyard Project move forward with an already-in-use name, it’s uncertain if they took the time to vet the first campaign. Because, as soon as I saw the “Grown and Sewn” slogan I stood up, checked my pants and sure enough:
Grown & Sewn. Pants from 2 or 3 years ago. And Grown & Sewn has been on this American made tip for a while now. But G&S, like Burton, can’t compete with The North Face’s machine and probably just lost control of its own brand name. It’s a rather tactless move from The North Face, but ultimately they’ll probably just keep rolling with it, Hillary Clinton revisionist history style, and the smaller guys can’t really do much about it.
It’s a cold world out there, and that invincible summer within you isn’t doing shit to pay the heating bills.