We have developed several award-winning campaigns throughout our decade-long relationship with Jay Peak Resort (VT), but our latest campaign really stands out. We understood the ask: to develop an umbrella concept that leverages “emotive marketing” which aims to do more than show product.
What we quickly realized is that we needed to move away from marketing the products and amenities of the resort. We needed to stop focusing on snow advantage and vacation planning and go back its foundation. The idea was that by choosing to come to Jay Peak, it says something about you. In addition, it says something both positive and sincere about Jay, something they're grateful for. This insight that Jay’s character and values are a direct result of the people that operate and visit the resort is at the heart of our campaign concept. We get that this resort wouldn't be what it is without the community behind it. Jay Peak has and continues to be, defined by its people. This campaign is a thank you to the dedicated fans and loyal staff.
While other resorts talk about their people, we wanted to be talking to our people. Taking that concept and bringing it to life was all about capturing the faces of Jay Peak. We started by putting a call out on social channels and on-resort to invite guests to take part in this year’s campaign.
We worked with Vermont-based photographer Bear Cieri to spend several days on-resort, capturing the people that make Jay what it is. We met people who were searching us out, ecstatic to be a part of the campaign. We met others who we knew needed to be featured and who we begged to get in front of the camera. By the end, we captured hundreds of people who work in all facets of the resort.
Once we’d captured these hundreds of portraits of our people, we explored a number of design options and varying applications of colour and treatment. We felt that black and white photography created the strongest emotional connection with the subject matter. We also explored typography and the addition of subtle graphic elements. The fusion of the background and foreground in the portraits created a unique look, while giving a sense of place to our campaign.
The underlying message throughout the copywriting consisted of thank you’s. These directly called out the 'something unique' our guests’ personalities brought to the resort. At times, they were personal and specific. Other times, they were more general qualities shared by a number of guests.
We thanked people for being helpful, honest, prepared and dedicated. For being a hardass, for believing in manners and for wearing their hearts on their sleeves.
Our landing page was where the campaign came to life. In addition to providing a home for the campaign, the landing page featured the resort's gratitude in a number of specific ways.
We wanted to go bigger than “employee of the month” and ask the community to nominate exceptional Jay Peakers, whether they were friends, family or staff, via the landing page and social channels. Every week Jay Peak selects a submission and provides a personal thank you via social.
Tactical and promotional
While the campaign focussed on gratitude, we realized that the brand also needed to promote specific offers. As a result, we created a solution for tactical offerings. In these instances, we removed the “thank you” message and placed emphasis on the unique guest attributes which we were grateful for.
This allowed us to use tactical headlines to capture the feeling of pride conveyed in our brand executions, in a way which spoke to our audience.
Traveling Art Exhibit
With the campaign photography being so beautiful, we opted to develop a traveling art exhibit to showcase it. This public showcase of the campaign doubles as an activation to drive awareness and an event that reinforces Jay’s gratitude towards their guests and staff.