These ads stare you in the face the moment you land in Reykjavik, and follow you everywhere in the country. 66°North is the iconic Icelandic outdoor clothing brand that has been around since 1926, with roots in work ware, protecting Icelanders against the elements with these well-made and expensive clothes.

And playing up that connection, this is how the company puts it in its literature: “There’s certainly a lot of outdoor clothing on the market these days but you won’t find a brand with such a strong connection to a country and its culture and lifestyle as ours. Unlike many of our competitors, 66°NORTH is an authentic brand with a proud history. We began in Iceland more than 85 years ago with durable, waterproof garments designed to protect our fishermen from the harshest of weather out at sea. It wasn’t long before we started producing clothing and accessories for those on land too, including a layering system to combat the coldest of days.”

In many ways, 66°North has defined the country as much as any other Icelandic brand, amongst the visitors and around the world where clothing brand has a presence. In its advertising it has played up that connection as well: Stark, elemental backgrounds, with faces of unsmiling Icelanders wearing, what else, the stylish outdoor brand, that’s the essence of all these ads. We’ve gathered a few of those from recent years, above, and its more recent TV ads, below.

As for why the models aren’t smiling, 66°North even has an answer for it in its FAQs online:

21. Why are the models not smiling in the ads?

Our ads come directly out of Iceland and are 100% authentic. Our award winning advertising group has won multiple EPICA awards for the unique, stark 66°NORTH, ads. Although they don’t seem happy – we promise they are smiling on the inside and love what they are wearing!

Tags: iceland