Tourism Whistler’s (TW) long-awaited revamped resort marketing—a product of years of research and community consultation—was initially supposed to be unveiled in the spring.
Then, a global pandemic changed almost everything about how we do tourism.
But after a pause for reflection, it was decided that the new campaign—with its tagline Thrill Runs Deep—is no less relevant than before COVID-19.
“It’s definitely intended to be a timeless campaign,” said Kirsten Homeniuk, TW’s vice president of marketing.
“I think our sophisticated, thrill-seeker guests, and even our resident community, in looking at those passions that people have, that still exists within everyone, now more than ever.
“We still look to the great outdoors, and if anything, I think the pandemic has caused people to almost try to have a little bit more balance in their life around things that are healthy and meaningful.”
Safety messages and resources developed in response to COVID, like TW’s Doors Open Directory, will still be in place for the winter, Homeniuk added.
“So even though our inspirational brand marketing will really dig into Thrill Runs Deep and encouraging people to continue to pursue their passions and get outside and enjoy the mountains, we will also have a layer of communication that continues to remind people to adventure safely and mindfully, [to] be patient with one another, and that the experience is going to be a little bit different,” she said.
“And so we’ll try and help visitors navigate that as best as possible.”
The place branding exercise, preliminary results of which were first shared with the community late last year, is the culmination of nearly two years work.
The exercise aimed to define what truly makes Whistler special, and chart the long-term vision and strategy for “ideal tourism” into the future.
The platform includes new brand colours, typography, photo and video guidelines, a new brand voice, and a refreshed logo, all of which will be used in Tourism Whistler marketing materials this month.
In capturing the essence of “thrill,” Homeniuk noted it can mean different things to different people: adrenaline-pumping, hard-charging adventure, or quiet moments of reflection and awe.
“We like to define thrill as a sudden magnified feeling of excitement or pleasure,” she said.
“And I think that is the positioning behind the Whistler brand, is that everything you do, whether it be rejuvenation at a spa or whether it be trying a new sport or something like that, it pushes you a little bit further, and it’s kind of addictive or magnified. It creates this feeling of excitement, that’s super, super captivating.”
In its new campaign, TW tried to capture those thrilling, personal moments through photography—the look on someone’s face as they conquer a new challenge on the mountain, or discover the holiday magic on the Village Stroll.
The campaign also makes use of First Person Drone technology to put viewers in the hot seat.
“We’ve got some skiing footage where it really makes you feel like you are in that moment, or we’ve got a shot going over Alexander Falls, and the falls are just rushing … it just really fuels that emotive element of thrill,” Homeniuk said.
Check it for yourself: