Kelliher Positions Whiteface Ski Resort Ads Appeal to Broad Consumer Base

Kelliher Samets Volk has launched two distinctly different print campaigns for the Whiteface Mountain ski resort.

“We have a challenging ski area, and we are a very popular tourist destination, so our goal was to appeal to both families and skiers,” said Dirk Gouwens, director of marketing for the Lake Placid Visitors Bureau, which administers Whiteface Mountain. “We have two different messages.”

One execution seeks to convey the beauty and serenity of the Whiteface experience. It includes an ad showing snowy mountain peaks and the tagline, “A threat to Imax Theaters everywhere.” The text continues: “High up in New York’s Adirondacks. Whiteface Mountain offers skiing, riding and panoramic views that are second to none.”

A second set of ads is aimed at snowboarders and “free skiers” ages 15-21. Efforts are running in Freeze, Free Skier and Transworld Snowboarding.

The draw for this group is the “rawness of the place,” according to Bill Drew, creative director and copywriter at Burlington, Vt.-based KSV.

One black-and-white ad, which has the unfinished look of a photo copy with a few drops of blood on it, features the line “Welcome to the nosebleed section.”

Said Drew: “What snowboarders like about the mountain is that it is so damn simple. They don’t have to worry about bumping into people in expensive ski outfits.”

As for the more sedate executions that are running in Ski and Skiing magazines: “We went to Whiteface to find out what the draw of the mountain is,” said Drew.

“What’s appealing to skiers at Whiteface is that it’s simple and beautiful—not all glitzed up,” Drew added.

Gouwens applauded Kelliher for “speaking the language” of both groups of potential visitors.

The art director for the Imax ads was John Roberts, while Seth Drury was the art director for the “nosebleed” ads.

The print campaign will continue to run through February.

Television spots are also in the works and may break this winter, Drew said.