Miamians’ Fairy Tales Come True in the Rockies

Crispin Porter + Bo-gusky’s “fairy tale” campaign for Telluride Ski & Golf Resort is turning out to have a happy ending.

As the ski season winds down in Colorado, the upscale resort is reporting record visitors’ numbers for first-quarter 2002.

Much of that increase can be attributed to the Miami shop’s unconventional print and radio ads, part of a campaign that kicked off in in the aftermath of Sept. 11.

“We helped them define the markets in Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix and Houston,” said CP+B director of account service Jeffrey Steinhour. “The move they made was to crank up spending on radio. When others were pulling back, they poured on the fuel.”

The agency convinced marketing consultant Greg Bagni to forego what Steinhour called the “horribly stale beauty shots with powderflying” that typify ski resort advertising and “rewrite the rules” instead.

“We drew a line that said, ‘This is an unspoiled destination, a Victorian mining town,’ ” Steinhour noted. “There are plenty of other places for people with private jets and cell phones. You come here for the experience.”

That meant creating a trio of unpleasant skiing poseurs named “Franchise Fred,” “Really Important Roger” and “Cell Phone Sam,” who are described using copy reminiscent of children’s books.

Cell Phone Sam uses his phone to ” … impress people!” Franchise Fred wants “to build my one zillionth Clone-A-Burger.” The good guys—Mr. Snowboarder, Mrs. Hiker and Ms. Ski Instructor—quickly kill that scheme.

Really Important Roger comes to town looking for “factories” and “smokestacks,” but winds up “growing a really long beard” and wearing “clothes made out of hemp”—a fairy tale ending.

“This was a controversial campaign that could have polarized townspeople,” said Steinhour. “Instead they got behind it.”