An hour before I started writing this post, Wachusett wrapped up filming their latest commercial. By the time I eat lunch, this ad will be in the hands of Boston TV networks, and by the time I sign off for the day it will likely have aired.
They call them Instant Commercials, and it’s a concept Wachusett has been rolling with for a few years now.
At the core is a hybrid between two channels that, for the most part, don’t have a lot in common.
“Something I really take a page out of is the whole social media phenomenon the last few years. The demand for instant is so high now, it brings the television guys into it.”
That’s what Wachusett’s Tom Myers said when we chatted on the phone about the inspiration for the strategy.
Here’s the thing, TV is still a powerful marketing medium. And real-time, transparent content has long since proven its power.
Wachusett simply combined the two in a way that address the problem they, and most other resorts, face.
“The no snow in your backyard thing it’s so huge in this market. We’re an hour west of Boston, we’re 1000 feet higher than boston, we’re 10 degrees colder than Boston…rather than just keep saying ‘we have snow’ all the time, let’s show them!”
Thus, the same-day TV spot was born. It goes something like this.
Prep – Talking Points
Tom starts by working up a list of roughly twelve simple talking points about events, conditions, deals, and more.
Thursday, 10:00am – Filming
At 10:00am they are fliming. Andrew Santoro mans the camera as the Crowleys, who are both owners but also the on-air talent for the spots, run through the list of talking points. Some b-roll footage is also snagged before heading inside. Shooting rarely takes longer than an hour.
Thursday, 11:00am – Editing
Andrew then begins to edit.
— Andrew Santoro (@AndrewSantoro_) January 7, 2016
Open with the Crowleys, then b-roll as their narration continues, back to them for the closing with a call to visit wachusett.com for more info and tickets. A similar set of graphics and details, as you can see on Andrew’s monitor above, make the process fairly straightforward and predictable which is not always the case for editing.
Toss in Wachusett’s familiar, 20+ year old jingle and you’ve got a lot of content in a tidy little package.
Thursday, 2:00pm – Upload
By 1:00pm the spot is ready and is uploaded to the TV station. Tom made sure to point out that unique setup took a unique approach.
“The year we started we actually went into boston and met with every station and met with the traffic managers. So we started being focused on communicating with them and build up a relationship with these guys so they knew what to expect and they could count on us.”
Thursday, 5:00pm – Live
With the content in the log and ready to go, footage from the morning can be seen on the air as early as 5:00pm.
But what happens when the conditions are less than ideal? They actually had to cancel all their December spots this year (for obvious reasons), but even if the case of the R-word, they move forward.
“Part of the credibility factor is that we’re pretty committed to doing these in any weather. There’s always something good to say, and it adds to our desire to be credible with these things, like ‘It might be a little rainy today, but it’s gonna be nice tomorrow.’ Very much in the vein of a snow report.”
Optimism, honesty, and real-time visual content? I think Tom is spot on with his social + TV description of this model.
Last year, they even took the audio from the spots, built the same relationships with radio stations, and carried the concept over to audio by repuposing what they were already making for TV.
But the core behind this all was very, very simple.
“We wanted to add spontaneity to the decision making process.”
By being consistent and satisfying content demand in a new way, Wachusett has spots that rise above the generic clutter they’re competing with on TV and turned out a very clever, very successful campaign.
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