Consumer Specialty, Gold Award: Patagonia, Winter 2000

A catalog’s cover photo should provide a taste of what waits inside. And the cover of Patagonia’s Gold Award-winning Winter 2000 catalog does just that. The photograph of a snowboarder all but dwarfed by a snow-swept mountain “tells an outdoor performance story and builds a sense of brand and expertise,” said one impressed judge. Said another panelist, “Who wouldn’t pick up this catalog and open it?”

In its copy, Patagonia emphasizes the toughness and high performance of its outdoor apparel. As one judge said, “The copy has the authority of being written by people who use the product in rugged situations.” For example, the copy on page 8 reads: “Designed for freedom of descent, the Flux Jacket provides an ideal combination of a soft and quiet ride, weather protection and the breathability you need when you venture out-of-bounds…”

And though they don’t sell merchandise, the editorials about rainforests and international wilderness on pages 36-37 and 52-53 also received a nod from the panelists. “They position this business as cause-supporting,” said one judge — and to Patagonia’s target audience of young, eco-conscious outdoor enthusiasts, such a position sells the brand, which in turn helps to sell the clothing.

Like the copy, the book’s photography provides a sense of authority, by showing hard-playing athletes skiing, climbing, and boarding while wearing Patagonia apparel. But the location photography is downright gorgeous too, so that the images “are not off-putting to people who only aspire to being extreme athletes,” remarked one panelist. Given that in the world at large, wannabes probably outnumber true athletes, appealing to both groups is critical. And the judges agreed that Patagonia does a great job of addressing the two segments. Said one judge, “The dramatic landscapes are page-stopping, and the gorgeous lay-downs say, ‘I should be in your closet.’”

Just as important, since Patagonia sells through the Internet and retail as well as via catalog, the book does an excellent job of promoting the multiple channels, with frequent placement of its URL and a listing of its stores nationwide on the back cover. “This catalog promotes retail but still effectively asks for an order,” said a judge.

Overall, with its “interesting graphics, compelling copy and photography, excellent merchandising and creative, and superb production that pulls it all together, this catalog is a no-holds-barred tour de force,” raved a panelist. “It’s a keeper,” said another, “sure to be on the coffee table.”

259 W. Santa Clara St.
Ventura, CA 93001
Company founded: 1973
Catalog founded: 1982
Catalog director: Morlee Griswold
Designers: Hal Arneson, Annette Scheid Production managers: Lisa Nessel, Angela Weidmann Merchandiser: Kevin Churchill
Copywriters: Kim Myers, Nora Gallagher
Photographer: Jane Sievert
Marketing manager: Ken Storey
Printer: Arandell Corp.
Color separator: International Color Services
List broker/manager: Advanced Concepts Management
Cover paper: 70 lb.
Text paper: 50 lb.
Number of pages: 84
Trim size: 8-1/2″ × 10-7/8″

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