Grove Unveils American Skiing Ads

BOSTON Independent Grove Marketing this week broke a viral campaign for American Skiing Co.

The effort encourages skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts to pass along the link to the Web site to friends who are infrequent skiers. Online banner and radio ads and e-mail blasts promote the All for One Season Pass, which gives skiers access to all of American Skiing’s East Coast mountains: Killington and Mount Snow in Vermont, Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine and Attitash in New Hampshire.

As the main creative execution, the Web site engages visitors with a quirky cast of characters who argue that it’s time to get off the couch and ski. One Arnold Schwarzenegger-type admonishes, “We are afraid you are becoming like a couch potato!” There’s also a beer-guzzling Scotsman and an overly supportive woman called Molly Coddle. People who refer their friends to the site can win prizes including ticket vouchers and ski trips.

“The overall goal was to help get a jump on the ski season and do something that would be fun and engaging,” said Peter Izzo, principal at Woburn, Mass.-based Grove.

The agency was launched two years ago by principal Will MacNally, who previously worked at Via in Portland, Maine. While at Via, he worked on American Skiing, which ceased being a Via client last year. Izzo joined Grove from Via in January. Izzo also worked on the brand while at Via. This campaign marks Grove Marketing’s first project for the client.

“We feel that the skier intervention viral campaign is a great way to help build excitement for this year’s ski season and awareness for the All for One Pass as the best deal in Eastern skiing,” said Peter Troast, vice president of marketing and brand strategy for American Skiing, in a statement. “The concept and characters will appeal to a wide audience of skiers and boarders that we think will use the campaign as an incentive to buy their ski pass for the season now.”

The budget for the campaign was not disclosed. The client has spent $5-10 million annually on ads in recent years.

Grove’s client list also includes Infinity Broadcasting, Bryant & Stratton College and Big Blue Marble Sports.