Snow Biz: More Brands Promote Snow Themes in 2013

Snow is the weather pattern that prompts the most ambivalence: we appreciate it in limited amounts if it doesn’t turn into a blizzard or avalanche. Yet, in recent years, long-range forecasts predicting less snow in the future have fueled ‘snowstalgia’. Now more media outlets and brands (not just ski resorts) are celebrating snow before it becomes a distant memory.

This affinity for snow isn’t surprising: the public responds positively to many snow-related expressions and experiences such as snowflake, snow cone, snow globe, snowman and snow days. Even the phrase “snow job” conveys more positive imagery than some other options.

Snow is especially prominent in seasonal promo efforts this year. Below are five unique examples of brands across industries using snow to sell themselves to the public:

Saks Fifth Avenue: the New York department store is featuring 150 snow globes in one of its holiday windows (top left). A Saks executive told The New York Times that the display has been one of the store’s most popular, attracting large crowds of tourists snapping photos. (The fact that snow globes are also luxury collectibles complements the brand nicely.)

Hudson Hotel’s Hudson Lodge: this winter brings a tent to the terrace of this trendy New York bar; every evening at 8PM, its snow machine blasts artificial snow. For urban party-goers enjoying the rustic après-ski decor, the concept of ‘chilling out’ has taken on new meaning.

The New York Times’ Snow Fall feature: this captivating and widely publicized multimedia story about an avalanche out west has been a huge hit, drawing nearly three million online visits. The Times is also selling Snow Fall as an e-single (mini e-book).

Hostess Sno Balls: these pink (or white) cream-filled chocolate treats with coconut flakes didn’t inspire as much separation anxiety as Twinkies when Hostess announced its pending shutdown. Still, Sno Balls have been a hot item on eBay, selling for many times their original price.

The Movie Argo: Snow played a pivotal role behind-the-scenes in the film when Ben Affleck’s CIA character referred to snow as “the frosty”. The threat of snow was the rationale he used to convince his bosses in Washington to try his Hollywood-based hostage escape plan from Iran instead of their unrealistic plan for the American hostages to bike to the border.

Even though Pantone named emerald green as its 2013 color of the year, this season it may be time for your brands to consider a white gem that also sparkles in the sun: snow.