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Does Every Resort Marketing Department Need an Opossum?

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As I write this, Liberty Mountain’s snowboarding opossum video has 960,000 views. By the time you read this, it will likely be over 1,000,000. With exposure of this kind, fluke or deliberate, you have to ask youself two questions.

  1. What good did this video do for the resort?
  2. Should resorts try to duplicate it?

Here are my thoughts.

What Did It REALLY Do?
Within a few weeks, Liberty’s YouTube channel will likely have more views than any other resort in North America (maybe the world but I’m only tracking this continent). The resort they will pass is Jackson Hole, a mountain famous for incredible scenery and footage. Here are the last 10 videos they have uploaded:

  • Powdermonium. The Corbet’s Showdown – 33,266 views
  • Powder Week Day 3 2012 – 2,036 views
  • Jackson Hole has Snow- Over 300″ – 3,851 views
  • Powder Week 2012 Day 2 – 633 views
  • Powder Week 2012 Day 1 – 304 views
  • To the Next Level in the Jackson – 1,762 views
  • Surfing the Jackson Hole Stash – 2,756 views
  • Powdermonium – 2,077 views –
  • COULOIR: The Ultimate Fine Dining – 1,210 views
  • Sit Skier Paraglides at Jackson Hole – 883 views

Now, if I could rank resorts by the marketing effectiveness of their total views, I think Jackson Hole would still be right near the top. They haven’t had a breakout viral sensation. Rather, there’s is a story of consistent, solid content that engaged people contain in smaller increments of thousands and tens of thousands, not millions.

On that same theoretical ranking, I really don’t see Liberty Mountain moving up the charts with their extra 1,000,000 views. Yes their brand has more awareness, but many of their views came from Australia, Europe, and Russia. Had Vail uploaded this video, my opinion might differ, but I’m having trouble seeing that a video of a snowboarding opossum is going to impact international ski vacation decisions. Locally, I’m still struggling to see it impacting weekend warriors’ decisions much either.

Try With Focus: Think “Dollar Shave Club”
I love to see the success of Liberty’s movie. It’s the first time it’s really happened to this level in the ski industry. It’s a first step. The next step is to make it happen in a way that sells the product of skiing. I can think of no better example than the 3,500,000 view Dollar Shave Club promo. Remember, this is a advertisement for their product that also happens to be a viral success.

Same goes for GoPro. Their video launched the latest version of their camera was filmed with the product and included some skiing shots.

What will be the first success that also serves as an effective marketing tool? Red mountain came close with a 60,000 view video about why their mountain “sucks”:

Ratatouille showed that skiing can be viral on the public stage. The next step is to make the bug spread some ski fever.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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