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It’s nearly impossible to overemphasize the impact BPN’s work has had on Columbia as a company — and vice versa. The characterization of CEO Gert Boyle as the gnarly guardian of product quality, and her son Tim, the company President, as the long-suffering object of her benevolent torture propelled Columbia to skyrocketing sales and extraordinary brand awareness. The campaign, which ran for over 30 years, carved out a position so distinctive and compelling, no other apparel company could possibly co-opt it. Perhaps even more remarkable, this indelible brand story never overshadowed selling the product. On the contrary, Gert and Tim’s shenanigans – and the irreverent voice they embodied – showcased the virtues of product innovation, durability and value year after year.
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