The Internet sure is a bizarre place. The fact that you could post something addressing a celebrity or a brand and if it booms on social media, you could actually get noticed by them is just wild. That’s what happened when a woman decided to rant about her not-so-waterproof jacket from The North Face on TikTok.

While talking to TikTok, Texas-origin Jennifer Jensen explained she was hiking in Aotearoa, New Zealand for her 30th birthday and purchased a black waterproof rain jacket from The North Face with DryVent fabric as heavy rain was predicted during the time of her hike. But once the rain started pouring down, she realised her jacket wasn’t waterproof at all.

The Rant

Jennifer addressed the American outdoor recreation products company saying, “I’ve got a bone to pick with North Face. I bought this ‘rain jacket’ a couple of days ago and the tag for the advertisement said that it’s waterproof as a rain jacket would be. Well listen, I’m 100 per cent sure that it’s raining outside and I’m soaking wet.

Jensen then said that she didn’t want a refund but wanted the company to redesign this raincoat and express deliver it up to the top of Hooker Valley Lake in New Zealand where she will be waiting. “I’ll be the only one up here looking like a drowned rat. Waterproof my a–,” she says at the end of her video. What happened next? The North Face actually teamed up with Jennifer for a hilarious marketing ploy.

The video quickly went viral earning over 11.6 million views and thousands of comments with one person noting the outdoor clothing brand’s silence, “North Face has left the conversation.” However, the brand’s silence was then met with an extraordinary marketing video involving a helicopter, a replacement jacket and Jensen herself.

The North Face Jennifer Jenson rant video waterproof jacket TikTok brand ad

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The Brand’s Reaction

In the age of social media, brands have become conscious of their image and try to proactively reach out to dispel any aggrieved customers. Yet, at times, when a rant video dissing their products like Jennifer’s surfaces on the Internet, most brands hope that it dies a slow death. They pray that such videos don’t go viral and the social media platform’s algorithm stops pushing it on people’s feeds.

But not ‘The North Face‘. They chose to address Jennifer’s rant video in a rather amusing manner. Replying to the person’s comment on her rant video, the brand posted a video to their TikTok page where an employee is seen grabbing a fresh new red jacket from a store. He then ran and jumped into a helicopter to deliver it to Jensen who was waiting on the mountaintop.

The Aftermath

Captioning the post, “We were busy express delivering @Jenn her jacket at the top of mountain. Thanks for the help Jossi!” The North Face earned over four million views and thousands of comments including one from a very happy Jensen, “You guys definitely came through for me. We’ll give the new jacket a shot on my next rainy day hike,” she said.

Though she was given quite the upgrade, Jennifer has yet to reveal if her new raincoat has protected her better than her old one. However, she did respond to a comment saying she would be using it on her next rainy hike. Netizens lauded the brand in the comments saying, “Well done marketing team, perfect response,” with another adding, “They saw an opportunity and absolutely smashed it.” A third said, “This is customer service.”

A woman named Amanda Goetz posted both videos on X (formerly Twitter), explaining the whole scenario. For viewers, this turned out to be an amazing example of great social listening along with speed to response. It is a masterclass in turning an unsatisfied customer into millions of impressions with positive brand sentiment. Or is it?

The Loopholes

Amanda felt that the brand should have stitched Jennifer’s original video to get more views. There’s a gap of around 7M views between both videos. And the other or rather main observation was that this whole ad by the brand was most probably staged.They needed to contact her, arrange a time to meet and produce the video. The coordination, speed and budget that takes to execute is still worthy of props!” wrote Goetz.

The North Face Jennifer Jenson rant video waterproof jacket TikTok brand X comments

An X user further questioned the whole incident saying, “feels much more staged and it’s convenient timing after the Stanley response! also, the OG video makes North Face sound like an awful brand to buy as it can’t even keep you dry when it’s raining💀 – so why would she want a new one if… it doesn’t keep you dry? seems a lil staged and the helicopter feels like a weird flex hahah

For starters, the new jacket wasn’t delivered to her during her original hike when she actually needed it. They probably got in touch with her later, asked her to feature in the video OR hired her to appear in the ad or drop the rant video in the first place. We will never really know… But the campaign did work.

It showed that The North Face listened, cared, was apologetic and took measures to rectify a customer grievance. However, they never addressed the fact that a supposedly waterproof jacket didn’t do what it was supposed to do – protect Jennifer from getting drenched in the rain.

What This Says About The Brand

Numerous ‘The North Face’ customers have asked the same question before: “Has the brand dipped in quality over the years?” One YouTuber compared a jacket they purchased in 2019 to that of another a friend of theirs bought back in 2011. Others have also supported the idea that the brand has fallen off in recent years as well.

A detailed Reddit post about the perceived dip in quality when it comes to North Face points to “inventory gluts.” These have managed to gum up the works for the brand, leaving retailers with many instances of not-up-to-the-mark stock. Jennifer’s video further fueled this conversation.

Nonetheless, these conversations almost always end up dying down since social media users have a short-term memory and an even shorter attention span. People will forget about the so-called ‘waterproof’ jacket, but they will remember the video and what a cool campaign it turned out to be.