Groupe Le Massif puts rebrand in motion

The ski area is launching as a new brand, encompassing regional tourism and using media to promote a lifestyle, rather than just a product.

Groupe Le Massif, operators of Le Massif ski area in Quebec, unveiled a rebranding campaign this week to promote the entire region as a lifestyle-oriented tourism destination.

Now called Le Massif de Charlevoix, the Taxi Montreal-conceived campaign includes a custom publication, a new website designed by Montreal’s Cloudraker, and a media buy (handled by PHD) that includes OOH, radio and web. The custom pub, designed by YQB Media, launched this week, as did the OOH media buy in Montreal and Quebec. The rest of the media campaign – radio, web and the new website – will be deployed throughout the fall.

Targeted mainly in-province at 25 to 54 year olds, the goal was to create a campaign that broadened the appeal of the area by focusing more on the year-round lifestyle it offers, rather than just skiing, Frederic Gonzalo, VP communications and marketing, Groupe Le Massif, tells MiC. The decision to do the custom pub, called Sens, and use a mix of traditional and non-traditional media, was made in pursuit of creating a lifestyle brand, he says.

‘Many tourism destinations and some companies have decided to go 100% web,’ he explains. ‘I do believe in the strength of the web – in having email strategies and making the most of social networks, Facebook, Twitter, and so on – but we believe there is a place for a magazine where you can have in-depth articles and better convey the essence of the project. We’re selling a destination more than just a winter activity per se so the magazine fills that gap.’

Groupe Le Massif is presided over by Daniel Gauthier, co-founder of Cirque de Soleil, and includes in its investor roster Cirque co-founder, CEO and space-tourist Guy Laliberté. The announcement this week is the first step in the rebranding of the ski resort, which will grow in the next three years to include a train between a nearby town and the resort, and a hotel within an agricultural-themed environment.