Where Did The Abominable Snowman Go? Or, how Ski Utah confused me with this ad

While I was doing some research for an upcoming presentation, I stumbled across a perfect case study showing the value of connectivity and a common theme throughout your entire interactive advertising campaign, rather than just good creative.

Thoughts// I was reading an article on Mashable.com, a non-skiing, social-networking/technology blog, when this Ski Utah ad caught my eye. First of all, this is not the typical place where I would be looking for a Ski Utah (or any travel / outdoor) advertisement. Usually the site is filled with either tech banners or ads for cheap laptops.

Secondly, my family and I are taking an annual ski trip to Utah this January, so I am automatically interested, the perfect customer / demo / target. Speaking of which, I will assume that since I have visited the skiutah.com site in the past few months that Ski Utah either (A) has re-targeted me using behavioral targeting (which would also explain why the ad was on Mashable.com) or (B) they got really, really lucky. I am going to guess it some form of option A.

So at this point, I have seen the creative, which is quite good. An Abominable Snowman (or Yeti if you prefer) is seen in the snow-filled banner, holding hand-written signs like a hitch-hiker. The signs display copy such as ‘500 inches of snow a year’, ‘skiutah.com’ and ‘I will ride in the trunk. Seriously.’

So, I stop in the middle of my research, in the middle of my day, at work, to click this banner. I am thinking, okay, I will be taken to the yeti’s website, see what his favorite resorts are, maybe the snow report and then visit the yeti’s MySpace page.

At this point, I am getting ready to send out custom yeti email greeting cards to my whole family. I am that excited about skiing.

So, I click.

And I get…


Well, I should not say ‘nothing.’ The banner sends me to the skiutah.com homepage, which is a very well developed site in it’s own right, like I said, I go there all the time during ski season. But I was looking for a yeti, an abominable snowman, heck, a regular snowman at this point. Alas, nothing, just the standard homepage that I have seen before. I already know when the resorts open, I know what resort I am going to, I have seen the fantastic, snow-laden pictures and no, I don’t need a winter vacation planner.

The ad showed me a yeti. I want yeti-branded wallpaper, a special deal that would have encouraged me to visit (read, spend more money) another resort or a snow report widget for my desktop that I could obsess over for the next 67 days! I clicked and I wanted something in return.

They had me, the creative got me interested and I was ready to accept any Ski Utah propaganda that came my way. As Mo would say, I was ready to become the next Ski Utah brand advocate. All that was left was to connect a good creative execution with the rest of the visitation experience…

Instead, I clicked the back button.

Back to my research.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.