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Channel Signal: Separating the signals from the noise in January

Channel Signal shares some of its social media analysis of the major topics online in the outdoor industry with SNEWS in the month of January, including Petzl, Lange and Winter Trails Day.

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Every month Channel Signal will share analysis of the major topics online in the outdoor industry with SNEWS®. The topics will range from promotions to marketing initiatives to issues that have virally exploded. What are the online conversations? What issues are bringing people into the conversation, and which ones are helping or hurting the growth of the outdoor industry…you’ll find out Channel Signal’s viewpoint here.

PETZL and “The Power of Light” contest

In our first column for SNEWS® in December (click here to read), Channel Signal followed the progress of Petzl’s Power of Light Contest. The first half of the contest spanned 30 days in November, and the program did well. Second half of the contest covered December.

The answer to our rhetorical question in that first column — “Would Petzl be able to carry the momentum of the contest through December or the Christmas season?” — is yes.

The Good News: That’s a huge increase in entries in the second half of the campaign and just over double the YouTube views from the first half. This campaign increased brand awareness across all new media channels. Increased traffic to Petzl’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. And the ROI? It will show up in the balance sheet.

The Bad News:There is none.

Will you be the Local Lange Girl?


The first “Lange Girl” poster, created by the Norm Clasen agency 1970

Last year more than 50 women entered the Local Lange Girl contest, posting hundreds of photos that racked up nearly a million views. Lange picked four regional winners, from both coasts and the mountains between, to represent the company at on-snow events. Each winner scored a Lange gear sponsorship, and Amanda Jean, the national winner, was featured in a pull-out poster in Freeskier Buyer’s Guide.

This year, the contest is back and bigger than ever: 98 entries so far, with the deadline being Jan. 15.

The Bad News: What does Lange get out of this promo? This year, 1.5 million impressions of its product with fuzzy webcam pics of 19-year-old girls wearing thongs and ski boots and “ive had enough of this shit saing i/we dont ski” dialogue in the forums. It appears as if Lange handed this campaign over to Freeskier. They aren’t acknowledging it on Lange’s corporate website and the Local Lange Girl’s link to Lange’s website goes nowhere. Talk about Marketing Campaigns Gone Wild.

The Good News: What does Freeskier magazine get out of this promo? This year, about 1.5 million page views with each photo page having two banner ads. Wonder what their CPM rate is for banner ads?

The Bad News for Freeskier: This campaign has gone skanky. Less and less like the old Lange girls and more and more like Jerry Springer.

Winter Trails Day – Jan. 9, 2010

During Winter Trails Day, children and adults tried snowshoeing and/or cross country skiing free at more than 80 venues throughout the United States.

Winter Trails Day is under the umbrella of the Winter Feels Good campaign put on by SIA and many other sponsors including: Atlas Snow-shoe Company, MSR, Tubbs, Kahtoola, Columbia and Rossignol. Media sponsors include: Ski Magazine, Powder, Backpacker, Cross Country Skier and Snowshoe Magazine.

Let’s look at the social media buzz generated by the major brand sponsors:

  • ATLAS SNOW-SHOE — Twitter update Jan. 6; Facebook update Jan. 6
  • TUBBS — Twitter update Jan. 4; Facebook update Jan. 5
  • MSR / CASCADE DESIGNS — No social media presence
  • KAHTOOLA — No Twitter update (new on Twitter); No Facebook update
  • COLUMBIA — No consumer-oriented Twitter feed; No Facebook update

Only three out of the eight key consumer demo sites had Winter Trails Day information listed in the events section of their websites. Out of a possible 80 demo sites, only one featured Winter Trails Day on its home page. Only one demo site was using social media by recently updating its Facebook page with Winter Trails Day info.

The Good News: SIA and their partners have put significant effort into pulling off this grassroots event at over 80 locations at the peak of the season with a nationwide campaign. This could be a perfect-storm opportunity for vendors, resorts, retailers, marketers and online influencers. It should be the norm in two years for these groups to be using new media to promote and coordinate these kinds of events while consumers share with their Facebook and Twitter friends all the fun they’re having. New media could, literally, be the wind under the wings of this event.

The Bad News: Given the amount of traditional media coverage and on-the-ground effort taking place, it’s disconcerting to see how little new media activity the event is actually generating. Just over 200 Twitter conversations about “winter trails day”…and after all that traditional media hype. But the proof is in the puddin’ and when the sponsors don’t engage in new media…consumers won’t.

Channel Signal reminder: 84 percent of all brands launching new media programs do not measure ROI – Mzinga and Babson Executive Education.

If you don’t measure, you can’t manage. Channel Signal is a social media management program offering search backed by analysis, a focus on the outdoor industry, a work flow process for easy execution, and reporting for effective measurement. Channel Signal is a soup-to-nuts, cost-effective package. For more information, email Paul Kirwin at or go to