The North Face – Walls Are Made For Climbing

01 Sep


Twice a week, every week, EventStream covers the latest and greatest experiential marketing campaigns from the world’s biggest brands. We take it on ourselves to lift the lid on the experiential tactics and principles at play – today, we’ve got The North Face’s Walls Are Made For Climbing campaign to deconstruct…

In what many see as an allegory to Donald Trump’s Mexican border wall, The North Face have launched their ‘Walls Are Made For Climbing’ campaign, spreading the message that walls are supposed to unite us with a common cause through a series of activities, including several OOH and experiential events.




The North Face – Walls Are Made For Climbing


The Aim

To promote inclusion at a time of heightened tension worldwide, through a common cause.


What Are They Doing?

In a bid to promote inclusion worldwide, The North Face are embarking on a new campaign called “Walls Are Made For Climbing”, involving several experiential activations.

Firstly, the brand is declaring 19th August as a global day of climbing, where they will be funding free sessions at various climbing centres and gyms in countries around the globe, including: USA, UK, Canada, Mexico and China.

The UK’s section of the campaign will be held at The Castle in Stoke Newington, London, where pros and novices alike can enjoy a free climbing session. To make things better, legendary climbers Hansjörg Auer, Jacopo Larcher and Alex Honnold, the world’s first person to free solo climb Yosemite’s El Capitan, will be on site engaging fans and giving advice.

In addition to the climbing sessions, The North Face have prepared an OOH campaign, working with specialist agency Vizeum to build a mural on Clerkenwell Junction, London which imitates “a wall made for climbing”.

This will all be punctuated by a $1 million donation to The Trust for Public Land, in support of constructing public climbing walls in less fortunate communities.



Tom Herbst, global vice president of marketing at The North Face, said:

“The North Face has been a passionate partner to the world’s climbing community for more than 50 years. We see walls as a place to unite our communities through the sport of climbing – a sport that requires trust and partnership.

“Our climbing community is truly global and we believe that communities are stronger when inclusive. Our intent is to inspire others to think more hopefully about the type of community we all want to work and play in.”


Why Do We Like It?

Walls Are Made For Climbing is a stellar example of a far-reaching, multi-faceted campaign. Not only will it be deployed worldwide, the inclusion of multiple activation, influencer partnerships and OOH installations demonstrates that The North Face recognise the value and exposure such blanket promotion can provide, engaging consumers with variety.

Furthermore, the campaign adheres to a genuinely charitable theme, demonstrating a strong sense of corporate social responsibility. However, the greatest achievement here is that Walls Are Made For Climbing remains true to the brand’s core values and vision, being recognisably a production of “The North Face” throughout.

Finally, we touched on it briefly before, the campaign makes great effective use of influencers relevant to the industry recruiting people like Alex Honnold, a legend in the climbing world, is the perfect way to drive traffic to these events.

Walls Are Made For Climbing has all the hallmarks of an experiential classic – don’t forget to share the inspiration by sharing it with your network.

Or, if you’re looking to run a similar campaign for your brand, get in touch today, we’re here to help.