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Red Mountain ribs mega resorts with clever usage of “line” in their ads.

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The other day I was talking to my daughter about the pressing issue of who would win the then soon-to-begin NBA finals. Among other things – I’ve apparently failed to teach my children the fundamental rules of most sports – she was curious what I meant by a word I’d used.

“What does it mean to sweep the other team?”

I’d said “sweep” as the possibility of a good thing but, as any 10 year old will attest, the idea of “sweeping” anything is far from good. It made for another one of those funny moments where you realize that the same word can mean to very different things depending on the context.

After all, the opposite of a really sick powder day is being really sick on a powder day.


The same is true for the word line. On the one hand, we’re always scouting new, fresh lines to ski on the mountain. But, get the bottom, and you’ll wait in well a line – a bad line – before you can get back to that good line.

It was on this bit of word play that Red Mountain built a campaign that recently showed up in Ski Canada magazine.

choose your line ad from red mountain

On the top, a photo of the absurd lift lines at a mega resort. On the bottom, a photo of someone skiing a line (instead of waiting in line) at Red. Between the two, a simple catch phrase:

“Choose Your Line”

It’s simple, it’s subtle, but the message is unmistakably clear.

Fair Game

Isn’t this a low blow? Aren’t we all in this together? Doesn’t this seem a bit harsh?

I think stuff like this is more than fair game and from conversations with folks at mega resorts they seem to agree. They seem to realize it would disingenuous of them to think otherwise. After all, their strategy was a choice. And while it’s working really well for them overall, they are well aware of the impacts on the guest experience.

In other words, this isn’t kicking someone while they’re down and out, this is positioning yourself against brands that are standing incredibly strong.

Honestly, I’m a little surprised more resorts haven’t followed suit. Mega passes create a really strong value proposition for millions of skiers, but they also create weaknesses. Lift lines are one of those weaknesses and I think Red has found a nice, clean angle to continue to build their brand position against it.

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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