Tilley getting a brand refresh from Cundari

Video love letter kicks off an updated branding campaign

Tilley Endurables, purveyor of outdoorsy clothing, accessories and, of course, hats, is about to unveil a brand refresh months in the making.

The full Canadian campaign from Toronto agency Cundari is still under wraps, but a pre-roll YouTube spot featuring a man on a quest to find something he left behind on vacation has garnered nearly 70,000 views over the past two weeks.

Called “Tilley Presents: Searching for Don,” the video posted on May 12 (directed by Ian Robertson and produced by Sequoia) is done as a sepia-tinged short film with high production values and a charming, folky original song by Ian LeFeuvre.

A scruffy-looking but determined adventurer hires plane, train, motorbike and donkey to track down a sentimental possessiont.

The video invites viewers to click through to see Tilley’s new collection. A new e-commerce site is set to go live in the next couple of weeks, said Cundari chief creative officer Andrew Simon.

The campaign will mark the first brand refresh in the Canadian adventure outfitter’s lifetime.

“This is a refresh, not a revamp,” said Simon. “It’s a well-established brand. The core was so strong.” Although there is no radical identity change, the refresh is top to bottom: a redesigned mail catalogue that was sent out a week ago, in-store elements such as tags and packaging, newspaper and outdoor ads, digital banner ads, social and the new website that brings new items to the forefront.

“Sometimes it’s the smallest changes that make the biggest difference,” Simon said. Cundari even consulted on the design of a few new products. The agency began work in late 2013.

“We did research, talked to Tilley’s customers and future customers to get a sense of where the brand is. It helped us centre the brand around the idea of travel.”

The campaign aims to capture a younger 35–60 demographic without forgetting its older base.

Simon called the initial video in pre-roll positions a “love letter to travel… It’s a piece we created that’s really got high production values. It’s really the essence of who the Tilley customer is. Well-travelled; as soon as you get back from your trip, you’re thinking of the next one.”

The 30-something bearded traveller in the video may not be wearing a hat, but he could almost be a younger version of Alex Tilley, the founder and face of his company for years, after all.

“This was unique in terms of being involved and partnering with Tilley on every aspect of the brand,” said Simon. “It was, and is, a wonderful partnership. That’s how you create something wonderful and cohesive.”

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