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Aspen Snowmass' 'Give A Flake' Campaign Brings Focus On Contentious Issues

By Jeff Todd

ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4) - It's part vulgar pun, and part cry for action, but this season Aspen Snowmass is making clear in its advertising where its priorities are with a campaign called "Give a Flake."

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CBS4's Jeff Todd interviews Christian Knapp. (credit: CBS)

"We definitely want people to take action. Taking action is one of the most important things you can do," said Christian Knapp, the Chief Marketing Officer for Aspen Snowmass.

The ad campaign launched in early September with a focus on getting people to vote and using climate change as a main focus.

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"'Join the movement' is sort of the secondary line of this campaign. We see this as a movement. We see this as bigger than Aspen Ski Company. We're just one small piece," said Knapp. "(Climate change) is fact-based at this point. We're seeing it happen. If you haven't noticed a change in your lifetime, that's tough to imagine, I think we've all felt it."

In nearly one million ski industry-related magazines that will be sent out around the U.S., Aspen Snowmass has inserted "Give a Flake" postcards targeted at Republican Senators; Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, Maine's Susan Collins and Ohio's Rob Portman.

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"Aspen Ski Company is going to pick up the postage, all you have to do is sign it and drop it in the mailbox," Knapp said about the postcards. "For there to really be major legislative changes, it's these folks who are going to be the difference maker."

Later in the ski season the "Give a Flake" campaign will shift to other areas of focus.

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(credit: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

"We've been hosting the largest gay ski week for 41 years, and it's really core to our roots. Marriage equality and tolerance are very key values for our company, so we'll weave that into the 'Give a Flake' campaign. We'll have a whole portion of the campaign dedicated to tolerance and marriage equality and other efforts like that," Knapp said.

The ad campaign hasn't pleased everyone.

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"The biggest push back we hear is just, 'Why are you getting political? You're a ski destination. You're selling a dream.' How can we not get political?" Knapp asked. "We want to preserve the winters for the future. We're pleased with the result and the positivity it's brought forward."

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he's been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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