As I checked in with some of skiing's most talented agencies and vendors going into the season, that list had to include Origin. They're not only finding more and more success with their bread-and-butter, storytelling, they're putting that talent to work on an intriguing new product, too.
I feel like it was just days after starting SlopeFillers I knew about Origin.
I’d never walked a tradeshow floor and I’d never thumbed the pages of the NSAA Journal, but I not only knew that Origin existed, I knew that they were incredibly good at what they did.
That was more than eight years ago. So what are skiing’s best sotrytellers up to these days? Happily, they are still cranking out goodness for one of my favorite brands, Jay Peak. Speaking of which, this is MJ’s take on this year’s effort:
“We’ve moved away from focusing on any kind of product and resort attribute to focus on the people that make the place what it is. It’s a campaign aimed at saying Thank You to those who chose Jay as their place, for whatever reason and a celebration of its independent spirit. The process of spending several days on resort last winter capturing the faces of Jay – people who ski, waterpark, vacation and work there, really confirmed that this campaign isn’t a marketing push. It’s a tribute to those who care about this place and we’re really proud of the final campaign.”
As well they should be. Take a look.
It’s easy for someone like me to just come up with random ideas for resorts that solve one simple problem, it’s another thing entirely to create campaigns like these that not only work beautifully on their own, but are seamlessly woven into a bigger branding and storytelling picture with dozens of intricate, moving parts like Origin does.
But beautiful campaigns for Jay Peak aside, it has been fun to see them become so well known (and so good) at video; a format that is perfectly suited for storytelling. They’re set to launch a documentary for Visit SuN Valley called “The Fire that Saved Sun Valley” and they recently premiered a documentary for MEC (which MJ let this clueless American know is Canada’s version of REI).
Naturally, that’s just the beginning.
“Whistler Blackcomb has continued its traditional focus on storytelling and we’ve created for them a 5 part video series supporting the “Our Choices Define Us” campaign that we created this year…And finally, we’re super excited to be working on a third documentary that details the life and times of Mike Wiegele and that man’s incredible contribution to the ski industry.”
Toss a few new clients (including Breckenridge Resort) and it’s easy to see why Origin, now 20+ years old and powered by 30 employees, has been so successful. As MJ says, “every resort, though they are all selling a ski experience, has an incredibly unique and rich story to share” and with every new campaign for every new brand, they’re proving that statement is true.
But there’s one more thing I want to mention. Actually, I’ll let MJ share this one:
“We’ve recently launched an Inntopia customized Interface that plugs into resorts’ content management system and allows for a seamless customer journey through their path to purchase. It’s something we’ll be launching officially this Fall but have spent the last few months developing and are eager to see live.”
I mentioned this when I covered Epop’s push with the Groupify platform, but I absolutely love to see these agencies listen to their clients and see patterns emerge and then take all the talent they have in their ranks to build not one-off solutions, but products they can scale.
They’ll have more info on that soon, so I won’t spoil the plot, but I absolutely love the direction and the message it sends that, yes, they are crazy good at stories and video and branding, but they’re also willing to shift resources around to apply their skill to new things.
Keep it up, Origin.
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