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These Ski Resort Ads Should Rock, but Suck Instead

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To this point with SlopeFillers I have, for the most part, avoided my personal opinion. However, I really want to get some feedback on this and felt that my bold title would not only catch your attention, but force me to make a convincing case to you, the jury, that it is at least partly correct. In a graphic design class, the ads I am talking about would all get A’s. Even in a marketing class they might receive a similar grade, but I feel like one critical element is missing.

Before I go any further, here are three ads that illustrate what I am talking about. See if you can identify what all are missing:

Do you see what I see? Maybe it would be better to say, do you see what is missing? A beautiful mountain, long powder turns, not a lift in sight…wait, not a SINGLE lift in sight? This is a resort, right?

In my opinion, what is missing are what I’m gonna call “factors of believability”. You want to catch readers’ attention, to really set the hook with an amazing image, but if the picture is too far removed from their expectation of what they would see at your mountain, they’ll start to doubt the realism of your ad. Make sense?

The solution. I believe if one extra item were in the background of these pictures it would change them completely: a big, fat ski lift.

Yes, I know photographers hate to have a gaunt, lift tower defile their art, but think of the difference in message. Instead of, “I wonder how long you have to hike to get that line.” Readers would say, “Holy $&!#, I could ski THAT from the LIFT? No way?!”

See the difference?

Another solution. Adding a visible box of text in the corner that says who the skier is, which run he is skiing, which lift serves it, maybe even in snippet of your trail map showing where he is, etc. would go a long way in helping me, the reader, believe the ad.

What’s your take? Do you agree or disagree? What’s the best type of image to stick on a ski resort print ad. I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts.

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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