Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter marketing campaign falls short

    “Your lazy parts are going to hate us.” This is the headline of a full page ad in Alaska Airlines inflight magazine encouraging people to ski Sun Valley.
    Are you encouraged? No one I’ve shown the ad to is impressed. The success or lack of success of the Marketing Alliance affects all of us in the Wood River Valley. If the Marketing Alliance efforts can’t convince the limited pool of skiers to give up a Rocky Mountain high in Colorado at world-class ski resorts or one hour to the slopes at the site of Utah’s winter Olympics, then we might as well shutter our businesses.
    I have to say I’m very concerned. Is this really the best foot forward the Marketing Alliance can come up with, given their payroll? When I went in to the Visitors Center to speak to someone about this very poor advertisement of what Sun Valley has to offer, the two very nice, kind and professional ladies who helped me said they were surprised that I didn’t like the advertisement. They told me the ad campaign, when presented to their membership, didn’t have a word spoken against it. I’m flabbergasted. The word “hate” alone should have rang bells. I suggested their membership must all be on drugs not to see this is not the warm and fuzzy message that has any chance of competing and attracting tourists from Colorado’s “Rocky Mountain high” or Utah’s “be on the slopes within an hour of touchdown” advertising campaign. And you, the very companies who live or die from the tourist trade, approved this negative, uninspiring ad campaign. Are you all tired of working?
    I suggested to the kind ladies at the Visitors Center helping me with my distress that perhaps something like “Your quads are going to LOVE our quads” would be more appealing than “Your lazy parts are going to hate us.” Which appeals to you readers more? We have time to pull and change future ads to a more positive approach, but do you have the will to do it?
    Two more things: The bottom of the ad mentions “Your lift ticket has a benefit, too” but it doesn’t say what. I asked. Turn in your boarding pass for a lift ticket. Wouldn’t that benefit deserve being promoted, especially to the demographic they say they are targeting—the out-of-work, no-money, younger generation. That’s not our demographic. We need to revisit our marketing efforts.
Mark Cook

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