DDB Gets Tricky for Hippy Stinx Skis

LOS ANGELES DDB is set to launch a campaign introducing a Telemark ski for K2 Skis named Hippy Stinx.

The effort, from the Omnicom shop’s Seattle office, includes two symmetrical print executions meant to reinforce the twin-tip product benefit of the skis, which enable skiers to ride backwards and forwards and perform tricks.

The first ad, which is breaking in the January issue of Backcountry Magazine, shows flames in the shape of a skull bursting behind a skier, who is flying though the air. The second ad presents a cloud of flames in the form of a vicious dog. The flames are rising behind a skier, whose image is flipped to make it appear as if there are two skiers. The graphic treatments were created in the same vein as the images on the skis, which include a skull and crossbones, said DDB art director Larry Olson.

The work will also run in Couloir, Backcountry Skier and Telemark Skier.

The effort targets consumers ages 18-28, which Olson said represents a new generation of Telemark skiers. “Tele skiing is more of an older, more experienced sport,” Olson said. The Hippy Stinx skis allow users to ski backwards, perform jumps and carve on a snowboard halfpipe, he said.

“This is an entirely new category for the industry, so a lot of education is needed and we’re leading the way,” said Mike Hattrup, director sportif at K2 Skis in Vashon, Wash., in a statement. “The ski enables the athlete to perform tricks that were virtually impossible on previous model Telemark skis. We’re now after the adrenaline junkie who’s after big, fast lines.”

The campaign budget could not be determined. K2 spent just under $1 million on ads last year for its skis and $100,000 through September 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

DDB has worked with K2 on a project basis for the last three years.