Snowbird’s Genius ★☆☆☆☆ Campaign

Snowbird’s Genius ★☆☆☆☆ Campaign

Oh, the dreaded one star review. Anyone who works with a product or service that receives online reviews can relate – some of those low-ball reviews are just petty. Snowbird decided to take advantage of that concept and introduced the world to their ★☆☆☆☆ campaign. 

Why did they do it?

In an effort to “embrace the unique aspects of what makes Snowbird special and be true to the product, [the] ski resort has begun running ads that contrast gorgeous, sweeping views with one-star reviews complaining about aspects of the resort…” It may sound counterintuitive, but Snowbird’s marketing director, David Amirault, reflects, “We’re known for our steep terrain, long runs and deep snow… for our core guest, it’s what makes them come back year after year.” (Griner, 2017) The Snowbird team worked with creative agency Struck on the project.

This campaign hit home for Snowbird’s repeat guest profile, and included those with the same demo and psychographics that the resort wanted to turn into a repeat guest. This campaign is for an advanced skier or snowboarder that is truly ingrained into and enjoys the mountain sports culture. And the resort totally embraces that.Print Ad 1 “Too Advanced. 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!”
Print Ad 2 – “There are NO Easy Runs. We felt like our lives were in our own hands. Make the wrong turn and you’re stuck on a double black diamond. It took us 90 minutes to shimmy down the Peruvian Gulch before we could even find a blue square safe enough to ride.”

Why it works

The juxtaposition is great. There is this grand, gorgeous view or an experiential photo and a 1-star review tearing that very moment to shreds. I love how they use a two-page spread to capture the grandeur of it all, and then the one star concept just drags your attention to the bad review. It takes a moment, but then you realize what it’s all about.

I can see the television ad now, featuring beautiful mountain views, forests and rare wildlife amidst snowfall, and a skier getting their turns in deep powder… and a VO of someone complaining. It’s perfect.
Print Ad 3 – “Disappointed. Are the people who operate the grooming equipment on strike or something? Was hoping for a little more corduroy to dig my skis into.”


Griner, D. (2017, September 22). This Ski Resort Turned One-Star Reviews Into a Five-Star Ad Campaign. Retrieved from

Après Eats: Local Beer

Après Eats: Local Beer

Corduroy, powder, ice… no matter the conditions, all any skier or snowboarder wants after a long day on the mountain to quench their thirst and refuel their body is a big, cold, beer. Oh yeah, when that sweet craft nectar hits your lips it’s like heaven on earth… it’s like new fitted boots or freshly waxed boards on a refill day.

Wait – play this and reread that paragraph: Oh Yeah – YouTube 

If you’re on your way out or just trying somewhere new during your stay, check out some good-vibe breweries and pubs that will help you heal after a long day.


Nearby Ski/Ride: Seven Springs, Hidden Valley Ski Resort, Laurel Mountain State Park
Nearby Hiking: Ohiopyle, Forbes, Laurel Ridge, Laurel Hill, Linn Run, Kooser State Parks & Forests

  1. Helltown Brewing – Mt. Pleasant, PA – Learn More
  2. Whitehorse Brewing – Berlin, PA – Visit Site
  3. Ridge Runner Distillery – Farmington, PA – Check It Out

More Food & Beer: Falls City Pub – Ohiopyle, PA 

West Virginia

Nearby Ski/Ride: Timberline Four Seasons Resort, Canaan Valley, White Grass (Cross-Country) 
Nearby Hiking: Blackwater Falls State Park

  1. Barrels Brewhouse (previously Blackwater Brewing Co) – Davis, WV – Learn More
  2. Mountain State Brewery – Thomas, WV – Pizza & Beer, What’s Better?
  3. Stumptown Ales – Davis, WV – Not Stumped

More Food & Beer: Hellbender Burritos – Davis, WV


Nearby Ski/Ride: Wisp Resort
Nearby Hiking: Swallow Falls

  1. Mountain State Brewery – McHenry, MD
  2. 1812 Brewery – Cumberland, MD – Check It Out

More Food & Beer: Green Turtle – McHenry, MD

BONUS: Pittsburgh, PA

Oh yeah, the city of dreams… er, steel. This town is chock-full of breweries and good eats! I am cutting it off at 10.

  1. Church Brew Works – Lawrenceville
  2. East End Brewing – Pittsburgh
  3. Penn Brewery – North Side
  4. Voodoo – Homestead (I have hear a LOT about this place, need to try!)
  5. Spoonwood Brewing – Bethel Park
  6. Brew Gentlemen – Braddock
  7. Rivertowne – North Side, Monroeville & more (This is a personal hometown fave)
  8. Full Pint – Lawrenceville
  9. Southern Tier – North Side (I love LIVE after a day of skiing)
  10. Bonus Bonus: Wigle Whiskey! – Strip District

Did I miss anything or is there a brew-city in your state? Leave your comments with places I need to check out!

I am thinking a Laurel Highlands wine tour write-up to come. Cheers!

Hidden Valley Review: F.A.M.I.L.Y.

Hidden Valley Review: F.A.M.I.L.Y.

Hidden Valley. Those familiar with this area and involved in winter sports will hear that this is the place for families and kids to go. And that word is right. My mom told stories of me starting here, hanging on to my moms hands at three, throwing the biggest pizza I could. And I remember at 10 or 12, hopping through the trees, and chasing my friends down Stingray, beyond terrified. Always the hesitant one – it’s what made me a better skier. It could have also been the instruction; my mother always made me take a lesson at the beginning of the season.


A post shared by Christina Skis (@christina_skis) on



At Hidden Valley, I built my skiing foundation, learned what “apres” with friends and family meant and skied my first “black diamonds” here. Hidden Valley is perfect for groups with young children that are just learning or yearning for independence away from Mom and Dad. A pair of walkie-talkies reach just fine (okay, cellphones now). “10-4 Good Buddy!”

In short, it’s pretty easy to see:

Fun for young pre-teens learning to tear up the slopes without parents pulling the helicopter move

Always some of the best snowmaking capabilities around – if it’s early in the season, they have coverage

My craving for some turns in the snow was pleasantly met, it has a nice variety of terrain although easier

I was alone, but friendly locals were always willing to chat on the lift

Love the short lines and easy access to every slope (learn to skate to get to the North Face, though!)

You should bring your entire family here!

Trail Map

Hidden Valley Resort Trail Map

Final thoughts

Mountain 1 of 3 included in the Highlands Pass, this is a nice ski area to get some runs in for less. Price conscious skiers and snowboarders should choose Hidden Valley over Seven Springs. Despite the beginner slopes, there is nice terrain and less crowds.. and that will always put a smile on your face. 

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