North Face Selects Factory Design Labs

BOSTON Seeking a shop steeped in new media as it prepares to press further into the ski and snowboard marketplace, The North Face has tapped Factory Design Labs to handle its ad account following a review.

The San Leandro, Calif.-based retailer of outdoor gear and clothing had previously worked with DDB’s office in Seattle. That shop did not defend, and other review contenders were not disclosed.

North Face spent $4 million last year and $2 million during the first eight months of 2007 in domestic measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. That figure should more than double moving forward, said Joe Flannery, client vp, marketing.

The upcoming campaign, slated to break in February, will be evenly split between interactive channels and traditional venues (mainly print), Flannery said. The company’s desire to attract more youthful consumers, solidify its standing as a lifestyle brand and take advantage of new-media techniques led it to Factory Design Labs, a Denver-based independent.

The shop is perhaps best known as Audi of America’s lead interactive agency, but from Flannery’s point of view, the firm’s efforts for Scarpa outdoor footwear and resorts like Copper Mountain and Winter Park were particularly compelling and relevant.

“Never stop exploring,” the client’s longtime positioning line, will be retained in upcoming campaigns, Flannery said.