A sure sign it’s snowing on the slopes

Tryvann Winter Park is a ski resort just 15 minutes from downtown Oslo, Norway, which makes it a quick getaway for city folks wanting to take in a day on the slopes.

By Diego Vasquez – Media Life Magazine.

Clear panels at bus shelters fill up with snow flakes

Clear panels at bus shelters fill up with snow flakes

Just one problem, a big one: Those city folks assume that when the weather in town is balmy it must also be balmy on the slopes, making them unskiable. That’s not the case, though. The resort is 500 meters above sea level, which means it can be raining in Oslo and snowing at Tryvann.

The resort turned to its agency, TBWA/Oslo, for a solution.

“The brief from the client was simple,” says Erik Heisholt, TBWA/Oslo’s executive creative director. “Tell the people of Oslo that there’s snow at Tryvann and increase the resort’s customers.”

Says Heisholt: “That led to a simple but seemingly impossible idea. If we can’t take the people to the mountain, let’s take the mountain to the people.” Indeed.

What the agency came up with was a series of bus shelter ads. Each was a clear panel mounted on the sides of shelters, so people walking on the sidewalk were looking at them as they passed by.

When it was snowing, the see-through ad panels were filled with swirls of snow. Below the panel was a tagline that said it all: “If it’s snowing in here, it’s snowing up at Tryvann.”

When it wasn’t snowing, the panels were clear, no snow to be seen.

Here’s how it worked. Inside each panel were electrical fans that, when turned on, created a flurry of snow that was actually fake snow of the sort used in theatrical productions.

The fans were controlled remotely by a central switching device that in turn could be activated by means of a cell phone. When it was snowing, or the resort had its snow cannons operating, the resort simply sent a text message and fans were set in motion at shelters around the city. Another text message shut them all down again.

The technology was the work of JCDecaux, the giant outdoor company based in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

The campaign, which ran for a month beginning in mid-January, proved successful. “Tryvann loved the campaign and commented on a marked increase in visitors to the ski resort,” Heisholt says.

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