In the World of Ski Print Ads, This Reigns King... but What About Others?

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October 28, 2013 -- Gregg Blanchard


It’s been a while since I talked about print ads. A long while, but I do have an excuse.

Ready? I didn’t see any.

Well, I saw some, but they were few and far between or hyper-local and not representative of resorts as a whole. So I waited...until last week when the Freeskier resort guide came with not one, not two, but ELEVEN resort print ads. Hallelujah.

Before I Start
Before i get into that, I have to share my favorite prints ad of all time. I’ve shared this before, but having found the original in my files a few months back, needed to bring it back up:



I love this ad for so many reasons. At the core, however, is one word you already know I love: simplicity. With one photo and virtually no words, this ad entertained, informed, and jammed itself into my memory where it has remained for well over a decade.

Yet, and that’s an important "yet", its awesomeness is like the way I dance: real, but so hard to recreate that the reality comes into question (foreshadowing for Friday...dun, dun, dun!).

The Criteria
Now, this ad is an anomaly. I haven’t seen anything like it no matter how clever.

So, rather than judge the ads I found against what is surely the pinnacle of print-ad-dom, I asked you to determine the rules. Though there were a few good points in the minority, overwhelmingly three things came up. You said a magazine ad should be/have:

CONCISE: a short, clear message and/or headline and uncrowded design
RELEVANT: imagery, message, and voice that match the publication
CALL TO ACTION: a simple, logical, and clear next step that the reader can take

Armed with this list I reached out to the kind marketers who were willing to be judges (plus a few others) to rate the ads and they, to their impressive credit, did so within hours. All had resort ties and all I trust.

Approach
For the next three days we’ll be digging into 11 ads from 11 resorts and looking at how they were rated, how they compare, and what that means. We’ll start with ads from pages 1-33 on Tuesday, pages 34-66 on Wednesday, and 67-100 on Thursday.

I expected this simply to be a fun exercise on print advertising. Along the way, however, I’ve learned some interesting things about marketers, rules, and what makes great marketing...well...great (which we’ll come back around to on Friday).

Let’s go!


» Check out SlopeFillers.com for a complete list of Gregg's posts market analysis

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