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Content Marketing (All)
In its fourth season, Alta’s “On the Lift With” is a beautiful lesson in content simplicity.

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

A hill with trails may be skiable, but until it has a chair running to the top we usually don’t call it a ski area.

Lifts are an inextricable thread woven into ski culture. We celebrate the first and retire those past their prime on our porches. It seems we all have a fun story or moment or realization that happened on a chair. Even now, sitting at our computers, we can instantly recall the sound of a double chair slowly bouncing across a series of squeaky sheaves or feel the acceleration and swing of a high speed quad before it regrips the line.

Turns out, ski lifts make a great setting for resort marketing content as well. This week I want to highlight three such campaigns. Some I’ve covered before, some are new, but I hope they’ll remind us of the perfect stage a triple chair can be for creating content.

Now in it’s fourth season, Alta has one of my favorite lift-focused content campaigns ever in On the Lift With.

Joe Johnson finds someone with a unique connection to the ski area, jumps on the Wildcat double with them, turns on the GoPro, and in 10 minutes of shooting (and not too many more in editing) has created fun, simple content with a touch of that double-chair Nostalgia.

Part of what’s so brilliant about this campaign is just what I mentioned earlier: the cost of creating it.

All content carries a cost. And all content is created within the hope that enough of the people who consume it will act in some, beneficial way because of it to make it worth the cost of creating it.

Alta has simply made that margin incredibly easy to nail by keeping the cost of creation incredibly low.

  • The content, by definition, can only be shot in one ride so there’s a built-in limit for shooting time.
  • The editing is fairly linear, so rather than piecing together elements it’s simply a matter of cutting out parts that didn’t come out as well as they hoped.
  • The subjects are already there skiing, so it’s just a matter of aligning two schedules.
  • The discussion is unscripted which saves even more time and makes shooting that much easier.

In other words, the simplicity of this content and low-cost nature is baked right into the recipe.

Could Joe mix in b-roll and music and shoot over the course of a full day? Sure, but that increase in cost suddenly makes that comfortable margin between cost and value that much harder to hit.

You can either go big and make sure the value within the content is powerful enough to change behavior on a massive scale, or you can go small and deliver some (but not all) of the potential power within a story by keeping the creation process simple and quick.

Alta chose the latter, and I think they chose wisely.


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