Ads get mixed reaction among the Gen- crowd
BRECKENRIDGE – While some parents and business owners in Breckenridge were enraged about the Breckenridge Ski Resort’s so-called “bitch” ad in niche Gen- magazines, the Gen-ers themselves merely shrugged it off.
Friday afternoon, Vail Resorts officials announced they will pull that and the rest of their ad campaign and come up with something less offensive.
In the days prior to Vail Resorts’ decision, the ad campaign was the talk of the town.
“I don’t think it was 100 percent necessary (to use the “B’ word),” said 19-year-old Jacob Youcha, of Breckenridge. “But I don’t think it’s bad. How people are reacting to it is kind of bad: “We want this image of this town.’ It’s kind of stupid if people only want a certain image. We should have more than just the older, rich people here.”
“It doesn’t offend me too much, but it did shock me,” said 20-year-old Willow Conwell, who lives in Breckenridge. “But it’s Summit County. This is a ski-bum town. It describes Breckenridge pretty much to me.”
Conwell added she understands why some parents are upset and admitted that, if she had kids, she wouldn’t want them reading such things.
“It’s not like they don’t hear that on TV anyway,” she said. “But it would have been nice if they could have found other words to describe the fun times. It kind of sucks that’s the way they’re trying to bring in the younger people.”
“For that market, you really have to shock them,” said 33-year-old Bart Monson. “Kids are all jaded. You can’t put a stuffy ad in those mags and expect to get a return on it. I think it’s pretty funny. It’s marketing. You have to go out and get the audience.”
Twenty-nine-year-old Tim Lovell of Breckenridge thinks it’s a good ad.
“I don’t think it’s too offensive,” he said. “People just need to have a sense of humor. Everyone’s taken it way out of proportion. If anything, the people who are complaining about it have created what the ski area wanted to create – they’ve grabbed attention for the ski area.”
“A lot of people in this industry would say any press is good press,” said Jeff Martin, creative director at McClain Finlon, which created the ad. “It’s hard to get press. There are so many people out there competing for it. You’d definitely think stuff like this would catch some attention, but is it going to get the attention of the people you want? Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. And kids and parents, they go through that stage when they don’t see eye-to-eye. That’s part of growing up.”
“It’s a little on the aggressive side,” said Breckenridge’s Mike MacDonald, who, at age 35, doesn’t quite fit into the demographic. “But it’s effective, especially as far as generating interest, positive or negative. It doesn’t matter, as long as you generate interest.”
Not all of those in the target audience agree.
“I don’t really like it,” said Tiffany Hunt, 20. “I don’t think these are really the type of people I want to come up to Breckenridge. Breckenridge is about people coming up and spending money. Breckenridge isn’t about the nightlife.”
“I don’t like what it says, but I like the way it’s going to bring in different people,” said 22-year-old Chris Krizan of Breckenridge, who admiteds he uses the word every day. “I understand what they’re trying to say, and I’m not really offended by it, but come on. I don’t think “bitch’ is necessary. They could have put it in a different context.”
“I think it’s horrible,” said 18-year-old Elise Kutter of Breckenridge, adding that her friends use the “B’ word in jest. “But I don’t think they should advertise it for a resort.”
Lovell noted the ad was only placed in a select few magazines – magazines most of those opposed to the ad never pick up.
“That was a good move,” he said. “If people can’t deal with it, too bad. For many years, Breckenridge has been reduced. They got rid of the Pub Crawl, Shamus’ is gone. This town started off with a little rebelliousness. That’s what we’re all about.”
It’s gotten attention throughout the state – and that’s what an ad is designed to do. Some wonder if the controversy surrounding the ad has generated more talk than the ad itself.
“But you know what? People are talking about Breckenridge,” said Kelly Ladyga, director of corporate communications for Vail Resorts, which owns Breckenridge. “They’re not talking about Aspen. Today, they’re talking about Breckenridge.”
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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