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Whistler/Blackcomb Turns to Storytelling Once Again with the Wonder Reels

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Last year, I was super (massive understatement) impressed with Embedded, the 7-day video series featuring Mike Douglas documenting the arrival of winter from a tiny patrol shack at the top of Whistler/Blackcomb. The campaign was incredibly successful, was picked up by a long line of ski news outlets, and ushered in a strong, Canadian ski season.

This year, the idea is the same but the name has changed to Wonder Reels (the trailer is above).

Now, I’m kind of slow on the draw with this story, news sites picked it up weeks ago, but I don’t want to talk about what it is, I want to talk about why it is. Okay, that’s weird grammar. I simply want to talk about why Whistler would make another round of videos.

The Quote
Back when I first talked about Embedded, Greg Wright over at Freeskier gave me his thoughts on the concept:

“We want more of this. More good content. And good content doesn’t need to be produced by Brain Farm shot from a helicopter on a RED camera. Each of these videos will be shot by one person, edited at night and turned around by the next morning. Every resort out there can afford to do this. And every resort out there has a story to tell. Give us that, and we will endorse it.”

I’ve used that quote a few times to prove the same point: that resorts need to tell their story.

That’s exactly what Whistler/Blackcomb is doing again. This time, it’s in a seven-part series. Only four are mentioned in the trailer:

  • Episode 1: Snow
  • Episode 2: The Pass
  • Episode 4: The Deep
  • Episode 5: The Crossing

Apparently created by Sherpas Cinema, these videos are set to be released throughout the season, starting in October. With hints of behind-the-scenes/inner workings of resort ops combined with great ski footage, something tells me the 21,500 views the Trailer has will quickly be matched.

So, why?
So, getting back to why. I think Whistler made another series because they see their resort differently than most. They have been able to look past the ingrained ideas they have in their heads from living in a resort town and seeing the mountains every day, and been able to see the unique stories that their resort holds.

Snow is fascinating in the way it forms, falls, melts, and is made by snowguns. That’s a story. They have unique features on their mountain like a “Pass” and a massive tram/gondola between two peaks. Those are stories.

There are so many stories inside of every resort. Whistler is finding them and taking the time to make sure they don’t go to waste.

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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