Notes from the mediascape: Burton Snowboards brings fans in-house

The snowboard company launches a 10-day, 24/7 holiday webcast from its Vermont headquarters, with a tie-in to social media such as the brand's Facebook page.

Ever find yourself wondering what it would be like to work at a snowboard company in Vermont instead of slumping over your desk in the city all day?

Burton Snowboards, one of snowboarding’s most iconic brands, is letting its fans see just what it’s like to hang out at the brand’s Vermont headquarters with a 10-day, round-the-clock webcam set up in different locations around the office.

Called ‘Web Presents,’ the promotion involves a live web video feed set up as a complete takeover of the front page of the company’s website, so when a viewer types in the URL, the full-page video player is basically all they see. On the left hand side of the screen is a live chat where visitors can log on and talk about what they’re seeing, and find the latest clue for the daily prize giveaways. Entries for prizes often involve challenges, such as Wednesday’s giveaway of a home-snowmaking kit, in which visitors had to snap a photo of themselves beside a snowgun and post it on Burton’s Facebook fan page.

The company explicitly did not promote ‘Web Presents’ much before it launched, strategically making the announcement just days before the live feed started. They wanted it to have an impromptu feel, so they kept the pre-promotion to a minimum, Evan Rose, creative director, Burton Snowboards, tells MiC. During the 10 days it’s up, ‘Web Presents’ will primarily be promoted via the company’s social media sites in an effort to give it a viral feel, he explains.

The webcam went live Tuesday, Dec. 15, and will stay live until Christmas Eve. It’s lightly programmed with interviews with Burton staff, personalities and (possibly) famous Burton team snowboarders. The rest of the time, people can just watch the action. (As MiC was studiously typing this up at 4 p.m. in Toronto, someone was pumping a keg in the Burton lobby.)

The idea was simply the result of wanting to do something unusual and untraditional in the form of a holiday promotion for the brand, Rose says.

‘We always see a lot of activity [on the site] around the holiday period and December in general. The biggest thing we want to do is offer a pretty cool experience and definitely give something back to snowboarding. The biggest goal is to connect with our fans and our riders, to give them a first-hand look at the Burton headquarters and what goes down here.’