The North Face and Timberland: climbing new heights for a retail launch


  • Paid ticket sales – 100 (a sell-out)

  • Event turnaround time: 2 weeks

  • 1,000 1-1 Hit Squad engagements in one day
  • Local sport / travel influencer groups engaged
  • Social media established
  • Local media coverage secured
  • Staff invigorated: sold more

Griff Rhys Jones and the Himalayan Hit Squad!

The North Face and Timberland came together to launch the ultimate lifestyle store in Guildford. The North Face section (a historic former meeting house) was tucked away behind Timberland, along a corridor, up a flight of stairs and obscured from the street.  A major retail challenge.

In order to entice shoppers all the way through, our client was keen that the cavernous, galleried space should be a welcoming, memorable standalone destination.

Our brief also included driving footfall – and engagement to create a buzz.

The View partnered with Guildford’s 25th annual Book Festival to offer an inspiring and unusual venue. We just needed to supply an ‘outdoorsy’ author too! With only two weeks’ notice, after calling 75 literary agents and publishers (for the busiest week in the literary calendar), we secured Griff Rhys Jones to launch his new tome on mountains and personal exploration. We organised all aspects of the event (apart from WH Smith’s book signing and sales table, within Timberland downstairs).

At the end of the week, to showcase the latest technical North Face kit, our experiential Himalayan Hit Squad descended on the town centre and main railway concourse roped together in extreme mountaineering gear for maximum disruption and theatre. Our ‘Win Gear’ promotional campaign involved people face-to-face and via a social media blitz. Importantly, we also built a database for future marketing activity.



The association with renowned adventurer Griff, surrounded by North Face gear gave a real credibility boost. Because the Book Festival is a charity, all tickets had to be bought; it was not an evening of ‘freebies’.  Indeed a number of guests stayed afterwards to snap up full price, top of the range apparel.

Our experiential campaign stimulated multiple senses amongst consumers (a Believability™ strategy).  They were curious – and keen to get involved.