COVID-19 and Ski Resorts (V). Lessons from Mad Men



In my marketing classes at university, my students really like it when I use videos from TV-shows (from South Park to Yes Minister) as teaching resources.


Now, during the COVID-19 lockdown, I am re-watching one of my favorites, Mad Men, looking for inspiration for my next article and I was really surprised by how relevant this series actually is for what I’m currently working on.


Mad Men is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner. Mad Men is set in '60 America at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, New York City. The series' main character is advertising Creative Director Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm).




In the last episode of the first season, we find one of the greatest pitches ever shown on TV.


In Greek, ‘nostalgia’ literally means ‘the pain from an old wound (...) This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again”, Don Draper: (Mad Men S1: E13).




Having our customers at the center of our destination marketing strategy requires an understanding of the main phases of the Tourist Life Cycle – from the beginning of the inspiration process until after the return.

The life cycle of the tourist trip consists of three phases.


  • Before the trip.

This is the inspiration phase, but also the decision and purchase phase. Tourists look for information about the places they would like to go to. In this phase, destination marketing teams are the key to easing the start of the process keeping the consumer inspired to choose our destination.


  • During the trip.

This is the experiential moment by nature. It runs from the moment the physical journey begins until the moment one returns to one’s usual place of residence. Tourists’ perception of a destination is made up of all the services consumed and each of the experiences. To a great extent, this is what determines the final degree of satisfaction related to the trip.