Perhaps the year’s strangest piece of research has revealed consumer awareness of The North Face is increasing—because Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is fronting media conferences wearing it.
He’s featured on the Hottest 100, been mistaken for Dan Murphy, spawned memes and gifs, and now the Premier of Victoria is increasing the willingness of consumers to buy a well-known American apparel brand.
New research from strategic insights consultancy Nature has found high consumer awareness of—and a willingness to buy—The North Face products, apparently, since Andrews has been wearing the brand during media conferences over the past year.
Unprompted awareness of North Face is double among the 44 per cent of Australians who have watched Premier Andrews’ media conferences, compared with people who have not tuned in.
Furthermore, prompted awareness of the brand is highest in Victoria, at 62 per cent, compared with 41 per cent in other states.
According to Nature’s research, the impact of North Face’s higher visibility is positive: 56 per cent of people who have seen Andrews’ media conferences say they are now likely to buy a North Face product in the future.
This is compared with 41 per cent who have not seen his media conferences—despite, or perhaps because of, Andrews’ penchant for the brand often being the subject of satirical media coverage, Nature claimed.
The brand has, additionally, permeated youth culture as seen in the rise in memes and social media sharing of Andrews in North Face apparel since his first media conference.
Nature managing partner Chris Crook said: “Fashion is an intrinsic part of visual communication, and the wardrobe choices of our political advisors have been making headlines for years. Who could forget the controversy that came with Barack Obama’s tan suit in 2014?
“While it’s usually controversy that follows politicians and their fashion choices, we’re surprised, and just a little delighted, to find that Dan Andrews has had the opposite effect on North Face—despite the controversy that has followed him as a politician over the past 12 months.”
Nature partner Paddy Cain added that Australians’ political alignment had a strong influence on their feelings about North Face, with 15 per cent of Labor supporters feeling positive about the brand.
But twice that number of Liberal voters felt more negatively towards the brand.
“We can assume that the brand already had a political lean prior to Dan Andrews wearing it,” Cain said, “but Dan has certainly had a tangible impact in creating further division between political parties and people being either fans or non-fans of the brand.
“I think one thing we can all agree on is that fashion will always find a role to play in politics.”
Featured image source: Reddit/u/oldspycey
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