Emotive storytelling and campaign objectives can be tricky bedfellows. This suite of videos for Whistler Blackcomb was an exercise in local storytelling rooted in our advertising campaign and guided by the insight that became the title of the series: Our Choices Define Us.
The series was produced for Telus Storyhive, which is dedicated to creating and amplifying local stories and voices. Storyhive requires local talent, directors, and producers to tell local stories in documentary-style films.
In order to satisfy these requirements and meet our objectives in a way that aligned with our campaign, we chose characters whose lives were defined by a single choice that connected them to Whistler Blackcomb.
Living, working, and riding here in Whistler, we used our connections and local knowledge to find stories that were unique to this place and that aligned with our key insight. Once we met our characters, vetted stories, and got their approval, we assembled a team of directors to create six short films about choice.
We worked with local directors Jeff Thomas, Darren Rayner, Ross Reid, and our very own Graeme Meiklejohn to bring the series to life. Our writer, Quinn Lanzon, worked across all projects, collaborating with directors and interviewing characters to develop scripts and messaging that was consistent with the campaign without losing touch with the heart and soul of the stories we were telling.
After a winter of filming, refining scripts, and recording interviews, we delivered a series of storytelling pieces that brought the Whistler Blackcomb brand to life through the stories and voices of the people who define this community.
From Dan Carr’s choice to abandon a career in aerospace engineering for life as a mountain photographer to Olivia Rey’s choice to get back on the mountain as a paraplegic sit skier after a devastating car accident, Our Choices Define Us connected with each of our audience segments on an emotional level.
The series was released to a groundswell of support within the community. Videos were posted on personal pages and shared organically, becoming the subject of extended comments sections filled with words of encouragement, inspiration, nostalgia, and hope. Choose to Be Unchangeable, the story of three ski bums reunited after decades apart, was picked up by ski media for its unique perspective and featured on Unofficial Networks.
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