Columbia Sportswear has launched a digital part of its ad campaign promoting the Omni-Heat Electric garment collection. The humorous commercials feature Wim Hof, a 52-years old Dutch who is impervious to extreme cold temperature due to his own method for withstanding cold through concentration and focused breathing.
The campaign includes five commercials by Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners that have appeared today online on web sites including ComedyCentral.com and ABC.com. Additional videos will appear on Columbia’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Print ads rolled out in the October issues of Fast Company and Outside.
Mr. Hof is a unique person whose records demonstrating imperviousness to extreme cold include climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and running a full marathon in low temperatures in shorts, says The New York Times.
Columbia presents Mr. Hof as an ‘antispokesman’ for a new line of electrically heated jackets and gloves. The voiceover in the video spot commenting on the almost naked Mr. Hof diving into the ice hole says, “Are you Wim Hof? No, no you are not Wim Hof. That’s why we created Omni-Heat Electric—it’s warmth at the touch of a button. Wim may never need it, but when you do, we’ll be waiting.”
“Not many people will aspire to do what Wim does,” said Tom Coates, a creative director at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners. “But anyone who looks at him sees how much he enjoys being outdoors and how much passion he brings to it—and that’s how people will relate to this guy.”
Omni-Heat Electric jackets cost between $750 and $1,200, and Omni-Heat Electric gloves cost $400. The garments were introduced this fall, while Columbia rolled out heated footwear in 2009.
Due to better batteries, the jackets remains warm about six hours on their lowest setting and three on their highest. Chargeable from either an outlet, car lighter, or USB port, they are provided with a 12-page user manual.
Mr. Hof will also promote the product in New York live demonstrating his own physical abilities to resist cold. On November 17, Mr. Hof will try to regain a Guinness World Record that he has already held as he was submerged up to the neck in ice cubes. This time, Mr. Hof will try to do it for one hour and 52 minutes. The prodigy will also be broadcast on a national morning show, with hosts wearing the Omni-Heat jackets.
On November 18, Hof will be sitting on a block of ice at Citi Pond at Bryant Park in Manhattan, where consumers will be encouraged to test the new heated apparel in a mobile walk-in freezer.