Tourism Jasper’s general manager James Jackson wanted a series of videos to promote mid-week deals in the mountain town. Something fun and hip, to appeal to a younger crowd.
What he got back from an Edmonton digital creative agency left him a little … surprised.
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“Happily surprised,” he clarified, “because it is a lot more playful than anything we’ve done before.”
The videos are grainy and tacky with a low-budget feel and aren’t even filmed in Jasper National Park’s seemingly endless snow-capped mountain ranges.
They were shot in front of a green screen at Edmonton’s Lift Interactive office in Old Strathcona.
The 80-second videos star Lift staffer and improv actor Derrick Johnson as Stan Glennson — but you can call him Fred Frost. He’s a used-car salesman-type with a stick-on moustache, monotone voice, serious dad vibes, and a vague resemblance to Kip from Napoleon Dynamite.
Jackson said Tourism Jasper didn’t necessarily need another epic video advertisement with herds of elk, sweeping vistas of snowy summits and rosy-cheeked lovers gazing at stars.
They decided to give the agency free rein to be playful and take a risk in finding the best way to promote mid-week deals on hotels, lift tickets, spa treatments and dining in Jasper.
‘Oh, that’s hilarious’
Micah Slavens, one of the owners of Lift Interactive, says the idea was a team effort sparked by the cheesiness of the line “Snow, get it while it’s hot.”
“Jasper is an amazing beautiful place. It’s also just a cool mountain town, with down-to-earth people. I think we really wanted this to have that sort of vibe,” Slavens said.
“We also wanted it to be just sort of honest. Mid-week deals are kind of cheesy, so we just kind of wanted to run with it. The response has been ‘Oh, that’s hilarious. Finally somebody is just doing a hip, honest kind of thing and not taking themselves too seriously.’ “
‘It is a lot more playful than anything we’ve done before’ – James Jackson, Tourism Jasper
Jackson agrees the response to the lighthearted videos has been great, but it’s too early to really tell whether the nostalgic videos are drawing more people to Jasper during one of the coldest months of the year.
But the mid-week deals are still available during the last week of Jasper in January, and so are last-minute hotel rooms.
“I would encourage anybody that is interested or maybe even wants to cross paths with Fred Frost to come to town,” he said.