Hughes Goes Primal for PolarMax

The Hughes Group enlisted an illustrator to craft colorful and surreal print ads in its second cam paign for PolarMax cold-weather outdoor clothing.

In an effort to gain notice with a smaller budget, the St. Louis agency hired Joel Naka mura, a Santa Fe, N.M.-based artist, for a campaign set to run in the December, January and February issues of Skiing and Freeze.

“The premise is taking different instincts and using copy to relate emotionally to the audience,” said agency president James Schnurbusch. “We felt we of fered unique imagery for the audience.”

Nakamura paints on sheets of tin, following a central Mexican tradition.

An ad aimed at skiers reads: “Survival: At 3,500 feet and 5 below 0, sweat can be deadly. PolarMax pulls sweat away from your body. Too bad it can’t stop a whiteout.”

Another execution, slated for Backpacker magazine, is headlined, “Primal: Nature beck ons with fingery tree limbs.”

Using impressionistic takes of people engaged in outdoor pursuits, the two ads are tagged, “PolarMax. The base with in stinct.”

Hughes won the assignment from the Candor, N.C.-based Longworth Industries last year. PolarMax competes against much bigger players, such as Patagonia, Schnurbusch said.

Spending on the campaign was not disclosed.