Super Bowl

Outdoor Brand Marmot Buys First Super Bowl Spot

The 30-second Ad Will Feature Marmot Mascot as the Brand Tries to Reach New Shoppers

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Marmot will air its first Super Bowl spot.
Marmot will air its first Super Bowl spot. Credit: Goodby Silverstein and Partners

Outdoor brand Marmot is taking its furry mascot to the big leagues. The Rohnert Park, Calif.-based label will debut a 30-second spot featuring a marmot in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. It's a new undertaking for the sporting apparel label, which was founded 45 years ago by two college students.

Marmot decided to advertise in the Super Bowl in an effort to reach new shoppers and reintroduce the brand to existing customers, said Tom Fritz, VP-marketing at Marmot, via email.

"Marmot's new campaign represents a shift from its historical focus on incredible outdoor feats to showcasing the simple joys and benefits of just being outside," said Mr. Fritz, noting that the brand wants everyone to experience the great outdoors.

The company tapped San Francisco-based Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the commercial, which will depict the aforementioned marmot helping a man fall in love with the outdoors. A 30-second spot in the Big Game is fetching nearly $5 million this year. According to Kantar Media, Marmot spent around $2 million on U.S. measured media for the first 10 months of 2015. In all of 2014, the brand spent $4.6 million.

Three 15-second teasers of the Super Bowl spot will begin airing online on Tuesday, while a 60-second extended version will be available online after the game. Marmot will also sponsor weather reports on CBS Sports in the week before the event.

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Experts expect the advertising move will help Marmot expand its reach in mainstream retail and gain market share from larger competitors. Though Marmot operates seven of its own flagship stores, the brand also wholesales at mass market retailers such as Macy's and Eastern Mountain Sports. Late last year, its parent company Jarden Corp. agreed to a $15.4 billion acquisition by Newell Rubbermaid Inc. Jarden also owns consumer product brands such as Yankee Candle and AeroBed.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the most recent available, Jarden reported net sales for its outdoor solutions division, which includes Marmot, of $654.5 million, a 4% decline over the year-earlier period.

Prodding customers to spend more time outside is a theme common to sporting goods brands. Last year, REI made headlines for closing on Black Friday, a day when most retailers offer non-stop shopping bargains in advance of the crucial holiday season. The move was part of REI's #OptOutside campaign, where consumers were encouraged to spend the day with nature.

The Wall Street Journal first reported news of Marmot's Super Bowl spot.