I was lucky enough to be in Vermont last week when a once-in-quite-a-while storm rolled through. One morning of skiing was all I got, but it was an incredible morning.
Back at the computer I saw dozens of content efforts coming out around the storm.
What surprised me the most, however, was the simplicity of the content that came from two names that got some of the deepest totals; Sunday River and Sugarloaf.
For example, one of the biggest wins for The Loaf was a photo gallery by Jamie Walter published on Powder.
That with a massive storm and epic conditions, one of the best pieces of marketing for Sugarloaf wasn’t interactive or live or 4k or viral, it was a beautiful, simple photo gallery?
And the Sunday River updates I saw getting the most traction were a series of short video updates with unnarrated, uninterrupted shots of people making turns on wide open runs.
At about 0:45 each and comprising just a handful of different clips, it’s one of the most straightforward edits you’ll see all year.
Notice, for instant, how long the camera stays on one skier? No changes every 3-4 seconds, it tells the story in a way that, somewhat surprisingly, we’re not used to seeing.
Which I love.
Sometimes we absolutely need lots of supporting snazziness to help a message get it’s fair share of attention from a landscape flooded with marketing. We need fancy edits and incredible design and flawless copy.
But sometimes we don’t.
Sometimes, when the product is lacking, it takes a lot of scaffolding to support the strongest elements within a somewhat weak message. Fancy edits, perfect lighting and angles, and epic soundtracks may all fit this category.
But other times, like this time, things like that could actually get in the way. Whether directly through keeping people from really getting into the experience they’re watching or indirectly by delaying the release of the piece until a time when it may not be as effective as it could have been.
I think what we’re seeing here in Sunday River and Sugarloaf recognizing that the product in it’s purest, simplest form is more than enough. And when it is, maybe it’s better to get out of the way and let it do the talking.
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