Workhorse Unveils a New Icon in Aspen Campaign

Aspen Skiing Co. is turning over a new leaf this season in a print campaign from Workhorse Advertising.

The goal of the work is to counter the reputation of Colorado’s Aspen/Snowmass resort as an upscale-only recreation area. The Denver agency won the account this year in part by developing a leaf icon designed to attract a more diverse group of skiers and snowboarders to Aspen’s varied 4,000-acre terrain.

“It’s time to introduce Aspen to a new generation,” said Tim Abare, Workhorse co-founder. “We needed to make Aspen more accessible, something everyone can take a big bite out of.”

The campaign is comprised of three print ads touting the four Aspen/Snowmass mountains: Ajax, Snowmass, Highlands and Buttermilk. Shying away from the kind of blown-out action shots seen in most ski resort advertising, Workhorse centers each of these ads on the shape of the leaf; inside it are collages of smiling skiers and boarders flying over the Aspen/Snowmass powder.

The first two ads are geared to a younger generation. In one, the so-called “free-skier” vacationers are told they now have “A compelling argument for calling in sick. For a month.” A third ad, which has yet to break, appeals to the older, more traditional Aspen skier—a segment the client cannot afford to discard during this repositioning.

Promoting Aspen’s nightlife, renowned ski instruction and reasonable vacation packages is also part of the strategy. The client hopes the leaf icon in particular will attract all types of skiers and endure as a symbol for winter vacationing. Aspen director of marketing Bobbie Burkley said the icon and campaign “touch a chord with a greater audience.”

The ads are rolling out this month in major ski and snowboard magazines and will run through the 2000-01 ski season in the spring. Billings were not disclosed.

Workhorse was founded earlier this year by four executives from Denver agency Barnhart/CMI.