Aspen Ski Company ads. 1993 to 1995

(click on photo to see in readable size)

This ad was done for Cole & Weber/Seattle.
The art director was Steve Luker.
There isn’t much work you do in advertising that you can look at 12 years later without embarrassment.
The culture catches up and turns the headline you were at the time convinced was fresh & true & insightful into a recitation of a hackneyed anachronism. Or, sometimes the product disappears, and you feel like sheesh, you must have done it all wrong.
I still like this one.
It is past the time when the effect of the ad on the public can be felt in the same way it was in 1993. Nevertheless, the aim of the ad seems clear, no? Part of a campaign done for the Aspen Ski Company, which runs two different resorts in the Aspen area–the big one, Aspen Mountain, in the town of that name, and Snowmass, which is a 15 minute drive away–the ads for Snowmass spoke of a big, mostly intermediate mountain especially suited for cruising.
The Aspen area wasn’t having any trouble attracting the rich & famous, ermine-wearing nightlifers. It seemed to us there wasn’t a corresponding sense that it was a great place to ski, which, to Luker and I, it not only seemed to be but had to be to justify the extra travel required to get to Aspen as compared to its main competitor, Vail.
So the campaign we did reads like it was written by a speed-smitten narrator who was just like you, the reader, except he was looking at things from a higher, not-involved perspective.
If i had to redo them now I guess i’d write them with a little less sure of themselves tone. A fault i would like to remove from a lot of work i’ve done.
{Talk about stupid: while we worked on the Aspen account they would give us these plastic coated passes on a lanyard, the kind ski patrolers have around their neck, that let us ski free all season. In the 3 years i worked on the account i skied at Aspen maybe 4 days. Next time you think somebody is stupid, put me on the list above them}
p.s. No focus group was consulted in the creation of the ads.
p.p.s Look up the art director in the award books. He’s a giant.

A few of the other ads in the campaign, if you’re interested: