Marketing – sometimes the best ideas sink like a stone, sometimes they soar like a bird.

In the last 24 hours MountainBase has transformed itself from a modest one chalet operator in Morzine to front page news, with press coverage worth tens of thousands of pounds.

So, how did they do it?

It started with this post (now edited) from their Facebook page on 05 March:

MountainBase Facebook message

The original Facebook message

Allied to a strong image, the post slowly attracted Likes and Shares for a week, until, presumably, it hit the News Feed of a journalist who saw a story just waiting to be written.

A Times, Metro, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph Radio 5 Live Exclusive

Although the story made the front page of The Times today (see below), as well as the MetroDaily Mail and Daily Telegraph (the day before), it was Radio 5 Live who scooped them all by reporting on the story first – although more than a week after it had originally been published.

mountainbase the times

Photo (c)

Jeremy Vine joins the party

Today has seen a complete media storm. BBC News, AOL News, ITV News – take your pick, they’ve all jumped onto the bandwagon.

Owner of MountainBase, Lee Quincey appeared on the Jeremy Vine radio show today on BBC Radio 2. Vine tweeted about it to his 213,000 followers:

jeremy vine tweet

Should a tour operator be allowed to pay education authority fines?

Quite frankly, who cares? Let’s just admire the publicity goldmine that this is for MountainBase, who are handling it very well, it must be said.

As they have said themselves, this is just marketing:

It is a bribe. We could offer to pay their fines, or their ski passes – it is a financial incentive at the end of the day.

The perfect (marketing) storm

All in all, it’s the perfect storm for a company that has rebranded only this year (the business was previously run as Ski Chamois).

It’s perhaps just a shame that they picked ‘Mountain Base’ as the new name for the company, given that there is an operator in nearby Chamonix with the same name.

Currently the Chamonix company appears top in the SERPS (see below), but with all the inbound links and social mentions the last few days have generated, it can’t be long before they swap places!


Chapeau, MountainBase – great marketing doesn’t always get rewarded, so it’s always a pleasure to see it when it does.


By Iain Martin