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Schweitzer’s chairlift therapy videos are clever reminders of skiers’ options.

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It’s such a weird time to be a skier.

When I talk to my sister-in-law about whether or not she skied the other day, implied in that question is whether or not the crowds allowed her to ski. Whether there were parking spots left when she got off work. Questions that I never asked a single time in my first 20 years of skiing.

Conversations that used to talk about how good the snow was now gravitate toward the length of lift lines and how fast things got tracked out, not the fun runs before it was.


Much of the marketing other resorts are doing right now is simply about reminding people that there are options. That, if they don’t want to wait in lines and worry about a parking spot and get stuck in traffic, there are places where these issues don’t exist.

Schweitzer is one of those.

And the message they crafted to drive this home was really clever and really effective. They call it “Chairlift Therapy.”

It’s a simple recipe:

  1. They catch your attention with the juxtaposition of a chair hanging from a crane with the Seattle skyline as the backdrop.
  2. Therapy is something more and more people are embracing, so tying in this angle sets a really comfortable tone that breaks through the marketing-speak folks are used to.
  3. In that context, they get people to open up about how un-fun skiing has been for them and what they wish it could be.

In a recent interview the creative director for the campaign, Matt McCain, put it this way:

“We focused on the heartache and frustration that Seattle skiers are feeling because no ski resorts around here are acknowledging it. People are sad and honestly losing hope that the sport they love will ever be the same again. We wanted skiers to know that there is hope. And that the joy of skiing is not dead.”

As they talk through what skiing could be, they don’t have to draw a hard line to Schweitzer because the implication is clear but not as “in your face” as other campaigns.

The Plan

In that same Muse interview, it was shared that Schweitzer plans to run the campaign in :60 and :30 spots both online and on cable TV in the Seattle area.

All they have to do is plant some seeds. So as skiers face the same lines, the same parking issues, the same frustrating ski days…well…they’ll have a great chance of remembering that they have options.

And the first option they’ll think of? Well, it might just be Schweitzer.

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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