This 91-year-old chairman is making a comeback for the sake of her company

Columbia SportswearColumbia Sportswear Facebook91 year-old chairman of Columbia Sportswear, Bert Goyle

Columbia Sportswear has a new ad campaign featuring its 91-year-old chairman and former CEO, Gert Boyle.

The company’s current campaign, which is launching this week, is focused on the hashtag #testedtough. The brand aims to expose the durability of its sportswear and feature Boyle as the “One Tough Mother”.  

From 1984-2005, Boyle was the face of Columbia’s comical commercials.  

Columbia’s new campaign brings back a ’90s nostalgia that the company believes viewers will like. 

“It was time for us to insert some sexiness back into our advertising,” Boyle told AdWeek.

The previous ads featured Boyle and her son — current CEO Tim Boyle — demonstrating the quality of the sportswear. But the current ads try to shift the focus away from Boyle and more on the product, with her more as an appearance. 

Other company founders who became marketing stars include Richard Branson of Virgin, Frank Perdue of Perdue Farms and Dave Thomas of Wendy’s. 

Boyle, who fled Nazi Germany at age 13 and moved to Oregon, took over Columbia in 1970 after her husband died of a heart attack and brought back the company, which was on the verge of bankruptcy. 

Columbia went public in 1998 and generates more than $US2 billion in global revenue. In 2014, the company’s sales increased 25%, which was its fastest single-year growth rate in 10 years. 

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