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iAspen going national

Charles Agar
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” A new 30-second iPhone commercial offers a window to Aspen through the handy little device.

An opening close-up shows hands holding an iPhone against a black background as a slow rhythmic guitar and simple synthesizer melody plays.

“What’s so great about having the Internet in your pocket?” asks the soothing voice of the announcer.



The hand then adeptly puts the iPhone through its paces, flicking through pages on the tiny touch-screen.

“Well, then you can see the trail map when you’re on the mountain,” the announcer says.




The hand slides the touch-screen to a better view of a map of Buttermilk.

“Find a good place to eat in town … when you’re hungry,” the announcer says.

The hand then flicks to the Zagat dining site and selects Aspen’s Campo de Fiori.

“And change your flight when your just not ready to go home,” the voice says, as the hand flicks to the JetBlue reservations site. “That’s what’s so great.”

Nevermind that JetBlue does not fly out of Aspen, or that the Zagat site has no listings in Aspen ” the Aspen Skiing Co., Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA), and certainly the folks at Campo de Fiori, like it.

“They called us and told us they were featuring us in a story for Apple,” said David Ellsweig, general manager of Campo de Fiori. “Of course, we said yes.”

A week later, Apple sent disclaimers for the restaurant owners to sign, and the next day the commercial appeared, Ellsweig said.

“It’s probably the best free advertising we’ve ever had,” Ellsweig said.

The commercial played during the Grammy Awards on Feb. 9 and is still airing on national television.

Asked why the restaurant was chosen, Ellsweig said the company wanted to feature Aspen and probably chose Campo because of the restaurant’s reputation and website.

“We couldn’t be any happier,” Ellsweig said, adding that many patrons have talked about the commercial.

“I think anytime we get the Aspen name out, it’s a good thing,” ACRA President Debbie Braun said.

“They’re a great company and to be associated with that, that’s a good fit,” Braun said.

It’s not the first time Aspen’s been featured in a commercial, Braun said. Jeep, Chrysler and Victoria’s Secret, among others, have used Aspen as a backdrop.

The city of Aspen acts as the local film commission, Braun said. But there was no live action footage in the recent iPhone commercial so no need for any special permits.

“I thought it looked fabulous and I think it’s a great plug for our resort,” Braun said. “And I think any time we can get in front of cameras, we should try.”

Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said, “It’s like product placement in a TV show or a movie.”

Apple representatives contacted Skico officials, who provided maps of area mountains, Hanle said.

“They had some folks here for what they called an internal marketing piece,” Hanle said. “I think they liked what they saw.”

Hanle wasn’t sure why Apple chose Buttermilk.

“It was an interesting choice. It may have had something to do with X Games,” Hanle said. Buttermilk was the host mountain for the X Games.

Hanle also added that it may also have had to do with the shape of the Buttermilk ski map. The map of Aspen is vertical, while the Buttermilk map is wider, and can show the unique iPhone ability to scan across a larger image with just a touch of a finger.

“What a great piece of equipment to be associated with,” Hanle said, pointing to the “certain cache” of both the iPhone name and Aspen.

cagar@aspentimes.com


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