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Marketing in the Streets: Meet the Whiteface Road Warriors

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There are a lot of buzzwords I could use to describe this effort – grassroots, organic, buzz, [insert vague, overused adjective here] – but I’m going to use a word we can all understand: FUN. Yes, this marketing idea is FUN for both the marketers and the skiers in a way that paints a happy glow around the Whiteface brand. Liz Mezzetti filled me in on this sort of supercharged ski show on wheels.

According to Liz, the goal from the beginning was to get their customers attention and “gain exposure in our target markets and attract new customers.”

WhiteFace Lake Placid Road Warriors
The final product of I’m sure many creative meetings and hesitant glances from management was a team that, dressed in full ski gear, would take to the streets passing out SWAG,

The Viral Element
A half dozen marketers in Bolles and parkas would turn my head, but try 400. “The best part was that through social media, press releases, e-mails, and other viral opportunities we asked people to come out wearing their winter gear, find us, and they could earn a Whiteface lift ticket ($82 value). It was fantastic! We had over 400 people wearing ski gear and roaming the streets in the middle of summer! Yes, heads were turning and we definitely got the attention we were looking for. Not only that…but we had the opportunity to physically engage people and let them do something out of the ordinary to earn tickets for Whiteface.”

Imagine that, physically engage with people: the audacity. I thought the only way to build “engagement” was online?

Ready With an Answer
When you’re in Aspen talking about skiing, you’d expect a certain percentage of folks to take to the lifts at a regular basis. When you are in a busy city, however, things change, luckily, the Road Warriors were ready. “When we met up with people that haven’t skied in a while or never…we encouraged them with a lift ticket and a free lesson! We even brought snow with us to some locations!” Check out the video for how it all went down.

My Take
I love completely love this idea. With so much focus on reaching people online, It’s refreshing to see a group going old-school and talking to people in person at a time when the “engagement” debate is around clicks and views, not handshakes and smiles. I have no idea what the ROI is or if they attempted to measure it, but that is a discussion we can save for another day.

The team is planning on hitting the streets again next year, applying lessons learned to have even more of an impact, I can’t wait to hear how it goes..


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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