Snowbird ski resort cleverly uses 1-star review in its ad

From intermediate to expert skiers, Snowbird ski resort in Utah is renowned for its challenging slopes. However, one guest found the mountains to be a bit too challenging and wrote a 1-star review of his stay.

After a certain Greg from Los Angeles wrote his 1-star review of the ski resort, Snowbird decided to make a campaign out of it. This clever ad, designed by creative agency STRUCK, showcases the breathtaking view that the ski resort offers and a single piece of copy: Greg’s 1-star review.

The sad review reads, “I’ve heard Snowbird is a tough mountain, but this is ridiculous. It felt like every trail was a steep chute or littered with tree wells. How is anyone supposed to ride in that? Not fun!” 

So why use a 1-star review to promote your ski resort? Snowbird prides itself on its difficult slopes. Thus, the negative evaluation sounds more like a compliment—which is why this ad is so brilliant. Take a look at the ad below, or continue reading for creative tips based for your ads.

Snowbird ski resort cleverly uses 1-star review in its ad

Creative advertising tips

Keep things simple

Limit yourself to one key message. If your ad is too busy, your potential customers will glance at it rather read it. That will lead to them ignoring you and losing the sale. Capturing a much simpler, more general idea in a simpler way not only makes for an effective ad, but also gives it a greater chance of appealing to more people. Ask yourself: does your ad have a lot of empty space? Your answer should be “yes.” 

Choose your images wisely

When you are choosing the imagery and style of your ad, it’s important that it’s still recognizable as an ad and doesn’t blend into the rest of the magazine. If you’re in a magazine about skiing and every other image is shows a mountain, you’ll be invisible.

Sometimes it’s okay to embrace the negative

Perception is reality. And since Snowbird knows they have a tough mountain, why not appeal to people looking for a challenge? The weakness Greg documented in his review becomes one of the main positives of the entire resort.

As the American Marketing Association puts it, we’re officially in the generation of the “ad-agnostic millennials.” So how do brands grab the attention of jaded consumers? The answer is simple: make fun of yourself. When brands poke fun at their flaws, consumers view them as down-to-earth and relatable. The one thing to keep in mind is that self-deprecation is hard to do well. Too much or too little of it is a massive turnoff.

For more design tips, check out 10 Photoshop mistakes to avoid.


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