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Apparel and accessories

Bally shares new outlook on adventure, conservation

July 26, 2019

Bally Peak Outlook Campaign Members of the Peak Outlook expedition on Mount Everest. Image credit: Bally


Swiss apparel and accessories label Bally is going to new heights to showcase its commitment to adventure and environmental protection.

To celebrate the brand’s connection to the Swiss Alps and the spirit of adventure, Bally sponsored the first organized cleanup of the summit of Mount Everest this spring. The historic effort reflects Bally’s mountain heritage while highlighting its commitment to a sustainable future.

“From a branding point of view, Bally’s Peak Outlook campaign is a home run in terms of delivering so many unique value points in a single effort,” said Daymon Bruck, CCO/partner of The O Group, New York. “Highlighting Bally’s authentic mountaineering heritage, delivering rich and emotionally moving storytelling, selecting an impactful backdrop to showcase new product and perhaps most importantly, presenting a unique and original take on sustainability.”

Mr. Bruck is not affiliated with Bally, but agreed to comment as an industry expert. Bally was reached for comment.

Sustainable summit
To commemorate the “Peak Outlook” initiative, Bally released a short film narrated by Dawa Steven Sherpa, who was the leader of the expedition that took place at the end of the climbing season this spring.

The effort also engaged Jamling Tenzing Norgay, the son of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. The elder Mr. Norgay made history when he reached the peak of Everest in 1953 while wearing Bally boots.

Bally documented its cleanup expedition on Everest

Bally’s film does not shy away from showing the extreme environment on Everest, with expansive shots of the mountainous landscape accentuated by howling winds.

“Climate change currently has the biggest impact on the Himalayas,” Mr. Sherpa says in the film. “We are sort of the canary in the mineshaft, because whatever else is happening in the world due to climate change, it’s happening here first and it’s happening here faster.

“I hope that one day my children will be able to see what I have seen, and that we won’t have destroyed by the time they get to come up here,” he said.

Time-lapse footage shows ice melting and forming a river through a camp, illustrating the rapid melting in the mountains over the last decade.

In the film, Mr. Sherpa also discusses his experiences climbing, which he likens to meditation.

A team of climbers, some of whom wear Bally x Everest shirts over their heavy jackets, are shown picking up litter by the camp.

Although there have been previous cleanups at Everest, these have been limited to areas between Base Camp and Camp 2. Bally’s was the first organized effort to focus on the “Death Zone,” at an altitude above 8,000 meters, or 26,000 feet.

Bally Everest Campaign

Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and Jamling Tenzing Norgay in 2019, both wearing Bally. Image credit: Bally

In total, Bally’s Peak Outlook cleanup collected two tons of debris and waste.

Bally is also selling a T-shirt with the phrase “No Mountain High Enough” to benefit future Peak Outlook initiatives. The cotton tees are available for pre-sale, retailing at $130.

“With a campaign that features a successful cleanup effort on Mount Everest, Bally discloses its role as caretaker and defender of rare and elevated natural spaces – an ideal association for a brand that wants to reclaim an authentic outdoors sports heritage, perhaps winning over new brand admirers, while still maintaining an elevated luxury persona,” Mr. Bruck said.

Luxury and Everest
Recently, Bally has been making influencers and individualism campaign cornerstones, appealing to younger consumers’ desire for authenticity. However, this is the brand’s first effort emphasizing the environment to this extent.

Other luxury brands have also aligned themselves with expedition sponsorships and efforts centered on Everest.

In 2015, British fashion label Pink dressed a team of climbers that were ascending Everest to break the world record for hosting the highest black-tie dinner party.

The team of climbers wore Pink’s “superfine” Dickens suit to the dinner at 23,293 feet. To train for the expedition, the team practiced on Mont Blanc, the highest peak among the Alps (see story).

British department store Fortnum & Mason has sponsored expeditions including Mt. Everest climbs, King Tutankhamen’s tomb excavation and boat crossings of the Indian Ocean. The retailer used to have an Expeditions department that served Britain’s ships, but even though the department no longer exists, Fortnum & Mason continues to support adventure (see story).

Bally’s effort also stands out since it is focused on protecting the unique environment of Everest, instead of merely using it as a landscape.

“Even though it may seem like pandering for many brands, marketing initiatives around the topic of sustainability continue to be important for most value-focused consumers,” Mr. Bruck said. “What makes this branding initiative stand out and not feel like an 'us too' moment is Bally’s authentic association with Mount Everest and with a core Swiss identity, synonymous with pristine mountain landscapes. ”