Selling the mountains to the masses 

Image is everything, but not for everyone

What is the image of Whistler, projected through advertising, that makes people from all walks of life choose to come here for their holiday?

When in comes to advertising Whistler, various demographics are given different images and different expectations when it comes to the number one rated resort.

Whistler-Blackcomb works with Vancouver-based advertising agency Wasserman and Partners on its consumer magazine advertising campaigns. Wasserman is affiliated with Detroit Creative, an advertising agency in Whistler.

Whistler-Blackcomb writes a brief for the agency each year on what they are looking for and what image they want to project to the various demographic groups.

"We’ve got a big youth focus this year," said Christy Allen, sales and marketing manager for Whistler-Blackcomb.

"We tell them (Wasserman and Partners) we want it to be cool and aim at youth and they come up with the concepts for the different magazines," she said.

President and Creative Director at Wasserman and Partners Alvin Wasserman said that in their series of advertisements, each market is targeted differently but with the idea of persuading each that Whistler should be their holiday choice.

"Rather than saying Whistler-Blackcomb is this one place, that just has this one thing, we’re definitely segmented and drilling deep into people’s consciousness and saying ‘we are this kind of place for you,’" Wasserman said.

"We’re talking to families in a certain way in terms of making it obviously family friendly, there’s a something-for-everyone kind of angle.

"But then we’re also talking to people who want to experience the park and the kind of rawness that is associated with the life around the park, before after and during," he said.

Wasserman said the riding culture is one where the corporate voice needs to be avoided at all costs.

"The whole riding culture doesn’t like ads, they don’t want to be advertised to and they certainly don’t want a corporate voice. We’re here, we understand the life and we let them define it in their own terms," said Wasserman.

"Groomed Daily" was an advertisement last season in a number of snowboarding publications. It features a snow groomer hucking a 360 in stop-motion photography in the style of a big air rider. According to Wasserman and Allan, it was highly successful in it’s rider appeal.

"It totally stuck out in our magazines. No one else had done that, and it was just a different way of saying ‘hey, when it comes to a place to ride, our parks here are sweet, and we have an eye on them and a dedication to them that’s fanatical,’" said Wasserman.

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