Sad to say, few of us lead such adventurous lives that we’re likely to need either “bail money in Las Vegas” or “search & rescue money in Colorado.” But if a ski jacket can make us feel such glamorous emergencies lie within our reach, it’s cheap at the price. Another ad in the campaign annotates pockets that could carry “mace” for visits to New York City and “bear mace” for jaunts to Alaska. With its deadpan drollery, this campaign points toward the direction in which the “extreme” ethos may be evolving. For the better part of a decade now, ads for youth-oriented outdoorsy gear have relied on a style that tries to refresh old-fashioned macho by giving it a gloss of slackerish anti-authoritarianism—a kind of John-Wayne-meets-Kurt-Cobain sensibility. However fresh this approach might initially have seemed, it has turned into a cliche. In Alpine’s ads, we still have the salute to fearless derring-do, be it on urban or back-of-beyond turf. But the humor signals us that we’re not expected to take any of this too seriously. In other words, we’re implicitly invited to feel superior to the guys who haven’t outgrown the sophomoric forms of extreme-sports bravado. That’s shrewd, as it gives a distinctive tone to this long-dormant brand.

TDA Advertising & Design, Boulder, Colo.

Alpine Design Co., Boulder, Colo.

Creative director/copywriter
Jonathan Schoenberg

Art director
Brandon Sides

Brooks Freehill

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