Visa Courting Skiing Crowd With Ads at Resorts

Skiers have never been shy about spending money at the slopes. A new ad campaign reminds them to charge it on their Visa cards.

Print ads from BBDO West are cropping up at ski resorts nationwide, from Vail, Colo., to Killington, Vt. Creatives said the campaign is meant to serve as a subtle hint.

“It’s a great way to show people all the ways you can use Visa in the mountains,” said associate creative director Jim Lesser. “People are at first battling crowds and then want to focus on skiing. This way we can remind them [to use Visa].”

One ad shows a naked man on a ski lift between two heavily clothed skiers. Text reads: “Use it for ski apparel.” Another shows a skier hitching a ride on a snow plow (“Use it for lift tickets”). A third shows a skier crashing into a net (“Use it for ski lessons”).

The ads use the traditional Visa tagline: “It’s everywhere you want to be.”

Posters are going up where skiers buy lift tickets and where they rest their skis, said Lesser. Billings for the campaign were undisclosed.

Visa usually places more traditional ads at resorts, but wanted to do more this season. In general, Lesser said, people are more receptive to funny ads when they are on vacation.

“It’s part of Visa’s brand personality … being fun and likeable,” Lesser said. “A lot of the TV spots have been fun and likeable. They wanted the print on the slopes to be as fun as anything else.”

The campaign will stay up until the end of the ski season. Lesser said the San Francisco agency will consider a similar approach next year if this one gets a good response.

The copywriter on the work was Steve Howard; the art director was Rickie Daghlian.