In 2018, Origin was engaged to redesign wiegele.com, the website of the ski guiding service Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing. The goal? Communicate what makes Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing arguably the most iconic, well-respected heli-ski service in the industry.
We began our research in the manner we prefer to begin all our research: With a personal visit to the operation, where it was immediately apparent that the Weigele reputation for phenomenal service, a warm, welcoming attitude, and, of course, exceptional heli-skiing was rooted in the personal ethos of Mike Wiegele himself.
As Mike neared his 80th Birthday (coincidentally falling on his 50th anniversary of the operation), Origin approached Wiegele with a plea to tell Mike's story. Origin was not the first to make this request, and frankly, we didn’t expect to earn the distinction of becoming the first. In fact, we were told time and time again, Mike won’t go for this, he’s turned down many people before you. We were surprised, honored, and, frankly, excited as hell when Mike agreed to let Origin tell his story.
Because Origin’s strength is to approach marketing through both strategy and storytelling, we immediately challenged MWHS to think about how they could use this video for other business needs. We specifically asked them to consider what consumer-facing needs this film could answer, and furthermore how would they get consumers to see and engage with the content.
Working with MWHS to identify the content objective and distribution strategy, as well as to develop benchmarks for success before we embarked on the creative concept and capturing footage held two crucial advantages: It created significant budget efficiencies while simultaneously setting a clear path for them to plan additional marketing and business efforts. Origin’s goal is to help our clients think strategically about their content in order to maximize their investment. Incorporating strategic thinking from the project inception allows us to ensure a holistic approach encompassing strategy, creative concepting, storyboarding, delivery of creative assets, and distribution.
The first step we took with the Wiegele film was analyzing all of the paid, earned and owned opportunities for the content and assess what was possible and what they would be missing in those three buckets.
We answered these questions
How much reach would the MWHS owned channels provide?
What limitations would MWHS’ owned channels have on the distribution of the content and what are the opportunities to fill those gaps?
How much paid media budget, if any, could supplement the distribution?
How could MWHS craft a news-worthy press release that would warrant earned coverage?
What aspects of the storyboard/concept could feed into this?
The second step coincided with the storyboarding: We began outreach to specific publisher partners with a vested interest in the content we were creating or that had an audience base that aligned closely with the content subject. Utilizing Origin’s network, we reached out to our friends at SKI and Warren Miller and formalized a partnership that would generate awareness of the film and drive traffic directly to the film upon launch.
We didn’t stop there. In an effort to increase views and have the promotion of the film originate with other credible third party voices in the industry, we reached out to MWHS’ partner brands The North Face, Hestra, Atomic, and Yellowhead Helicopters. All agreed to sponsor and help promote the film through their social channels, athlete channels and e-newsletters.
Lastly, Origin worked with MWHS to ensure that there would be a home or landing page for the film and all supporting content. In order to streamline the promotional efforts from the numerous partners, we created a consolidated distribution plan and press kit that aligned the timing of the trailer and documentary release. Our promotional press kit included all the necessary assets for MWHS and its partners to simply plug and play the promotion of the film on whatever channel they preferred. The comprehensive press kit included a film synopsis and poster, social media posts, banner ads, and print creative.
“We knew that Origin would capture the uniqueness and character of Mike’s story. Throughout the production process, our team felt that Andrea Wing, Graeme Meiklejohn and the production crew connected with Mike and his passion for skiing. It’s been a pleasure to work with Origin on this film and we now look forward to sharing his story with new audiences from around the world,” said Deanna Kristensen, Marketing Coordinator for Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing.
For his part, the man himself was a bit more succinct:
said Mike Wiegele.
We couldn’t agree more, Mike, and we’re extremely grateful for the trust you placed in Origin, and the dedication to the project demonstrated by your entire staff. Thank you, and here’s to another winter of blue skies and champagne powder.