Exploring the success of ''a skiers'' journey with Arc'teryx
What started as a film project three years ago, “A Skier’s Journey” is now in its final season. Directed by North Vancouver photographer and filmmaker Jordan Manley, the series—which explores the edges of skiing and the people, cultures and landscapes it encompasses—culminates with a return home to British Columbia (and the global headquarters of Arc’teryx).
In its short tenure, “A Skier’s Journey” has garnered worldwide acclaim, prompting us to look into the success elements of this branded storytelling video series. We reached out to Adam Ketcheson, VP of Marketing and B2C at Arc’teryx, for his thoughts on this series, content marketing as a whole, and what’s next for the growing brand.
Origin: What was the inspiration behind the series?
Adam Ketcheson: To quote Jordan Manley, “I saw an opportunity to differentiate what we were doing through narrative. I was interested in exploring and exposing the culture behind all these international locations. To celebrate the human side of skiing.”
Origin: The content is produced with a unique, creative touch and, at times, atypical skiers who fall outside the media-portrayed norm. How do you feel this series speaks to the Arc’teryx brand?
AK: As a brand we appreciate the cultural stories you find in “A Skier’s Journey” combined with really powerful cinematography and storytelling. We value creative expression and the creation of beautiful considered things.
Origin: How does this type of content help you meet objectives? Do you measure any ROI?
AK: We look at how much consumers interact with the content, and we track our social engagement metrics, but mostly we just like to enable the creation of stories that we think will inspire our brand advocates. You can have great metrics and ROI with really bad creative, but it’s more important to focus on whether or not stories can break through the clutter and connect with viewers.
Origin: Have you seen changes in viewing behaviour over the lifespan of “A Skier’s Journey”?
AK: There is way more content out there now than there was when “A Skier’s Journey” started. Consumers seem to be into really short or really long video. I think it speaks to the timelessness of Jordan’s work that when you go back and re-watch the older stories, they still hold up.
Origin: Are you allocating much budget to distribution or relying mostly on organic reach?
AK: We push all our important content [with a paid media plan]. It’s pretty hard these days to just count on organic reach, although we do find that some creative resonates and catches fire. For the most part, however, you have to pay to get it in front of your audience.
Origin: What’s next for Arc’teryx after this series?
AK: We’re going to continue to look for ways to create cool moments and experiences for people to connect with the brand. We’ll do some old-school, long-form print like Lithographica, our e-journal. We’ll continue to invest in our social storytelling on our blog and we’ll continue to support people like Jordan who tell the stories that inspire them.
Origin: What is your take on where marketing content is going? What are the trends you’re watching and responding to?
AK: I think content is diverging between things that are designed to be mass produced and things that are designed for small, highly engaged audiences. The one trend that is super relevant right now is live video.