I recently wrote about the difference between advertising
reach and advertising that reaches out
and grabs the consumer in a clever,
emotional and effective way. A vivid example showed up in my mailbox the other
day. Each Fall, SKI Magazine devotes an issue to ranking the top 50 resorts in
North America. I eagerly await this issue to learn what other readers say about the
ski areas, to recall my own memories of places I’ve visited and think about
what’s next on my list. As readers of this blog know, I also can’t help
scrutinizing the advertising.

Ski resort advertising is usually very good. For example,
there’s a full page for Keystone with the left side being an image of fresh
snow with s-shaped tracks through the powder. On the right half is a mess of
overlapping tracks going in all sorts of wacky directions. The headline: Kids
Always Ski Free. Even if they Can’t.
The ad makes a valuable offer an grabs your attention with an interesting photo.

A full page ad for Deer Valley features what appears
to be a father and son schussing down a slope, beautiful Utah mountains in the
background. The headline: A Perfect Time for Deeper Connections. A nice sentiment and a cool photo.

Steamboat had the guts to not even show skiers, slopes or
mountains. Their full page ad features a sweet photo of a father and his smiling daughter sharing a
moment. They are dressed in winter coats and hats as snowflakes fall through
the air. The headline: Don’t Blink or You’ll Miss Her. Their emotional ad talks
about the setting for creating memories.

Then, it broke my heart to find a full-page ad for a
resort that I won’t name (but I have visited), with a headline: There’s a Lot
Going On Here. Don’t Miss It!
Seriously, you have got to be kidding me. A
full-page ad in SKI Magazine must cost a small fortune and this is what that
resort chose to say? Tourism advertising – including ski resort advertising –
needs to be creative and compelling. I’m not saying that it’s not easy to produce
consistently great ideas. I am saying that it’s a fairly simple concept to
grasp that lame ideas do not get the job done.


6 Walnut Avenue • Vinton, Virginia 24179

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