Ad of the Day: Columbia Sportswear

Meet the brand's anti-spokesman, Wim Hof, the one crazy fool who'd rather go almost naked in the Arctic

Wim Hof doesn't mind prancing through the Arctic cold in nothing but his shorts. For the rest of us, Columbia Sportswear suggests trying its battery-powered, electrically warmed line of Omni-Heat outerwear.

Still, Hof, the hypothermia-defying Dutch stuntman, also known as "The Iceman," stars in the brand's new campaign from Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners. The ad below opens on a meditating, cross-legged and mostly naked Hof sitting on a block of ice. As an overblown voiceover builds suspense, he jumps down and proceeds to run across the frozen surface of a glacial pool before jumping into the icy waters through a fishing hole. "What you are about to see is real," teases the voiceover. "There are no props. No body doubles. Just a man keeping himself warm with the power of his mind." (An onscreen disclaimer warns: "Wim Hof is a professional. You are not. Do not attempt.) After his frigid swim, Hof climbs into a glass cage, and two assistants bury him up to his chin in ice—a signature feat of endurance for which he's repeatedly broken his own world record, most recently by spending a chilling 110 minutes in a similar state of submersion. The ad then delivers a welcome twist as the camera pans to a random guy nearby, decked out in Columbia gear, sneering at Hof's apparent insanity. This is "another man, keeping even warmer with an electric jacket," zings the narrator.

The spot, filmed on the ice in Lapland, in northern Finland, is a smart and well-executed send-up of the documentary-style ad genre, and such a satire could have easily encumbered Columbia's message. Instead, it fits well: The brand calls Hof an "anti-spokesperson." In other words, he's the one nutjob on the planet who wouldn't beg for its cozy product during extended exposure to subzero temperatures.

Client: Columbia Sportswear
Agency: Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Sausalito, Calif.
Executive Creative Director: Mike Shine
Executive Creative Director: John Butler
Creative Director: Tom Coates
Senior Copywriter: Chris Bull
Senior Art Director: Alex Rice
Senior Art Director: Shahin Edalati
Senior Art Director: Trevor Steinbacher
Interactive: Trevor Steinbacher
Director of Broadcast Production: Adrienne Cummins
Producer: Luke Rzewnicki
Production Company: ACNE
Director: Henrik Sundgren
Executive Producer: Fran McGivern
Line Producer: Johnny Parker
Executive Producer: Richard Bjorlin
Executive Producer: Pal Asberg
Line Producer: Anna Bergstrom
Production Company: Woodpecker Film
Line Producer: Hannu Kalliolahti
Director of Photography: Jalo Faber
Editorial Company: Cleaver
Editor: Pete Koob
Executive Producer: Richard Quan
Assistant Editor: Jasmina Zaharieva
Graphics: Tom Yaniv
Finish: MPC
Music Company: Sonixsphere
Additional Music: APM
Audio Design: Lime Studios
Sound Design: Lime Studios
Photographer: Ture Lillegraven
Production Company: First Shot Productions
Producer: Zach Crawford
Interactive Production: BSSP
Producer: Garrett Delorm