The Olympics and Super Slider Sno-Skates; We All Have a Dream

Do you have Olympic dreams? Watch this now!

Did it bring back some memories?

With the Olympics in Sochi now in full swing, I had a little fun on Facebook this week.  I posted a quick photo of a 1970’s favourite and most wished for Christmas gift and the response was telling.

Inspired by the Olympics, or more so, the nostalgia attached to the Olympics, I went all the way back to the 1970’s and posted a funny update with a small photo of Super Slider Sno-skates and received a huge response. Everyone wanted them, the lucky received them. We still talk about them now. But guess what? They didn’t actually work that well but most still thought they were great. As well, few realized the simplicity of the idea-strapping pieces of red plastic to your boots with shoelaces and attempting a sweet ride! But the marketing was great and even as I write this, I’m still receiving tweets from people sharing their memories and the Facebook comments continue to accumulate with users engaging in some great storytelling of what is still a very identifiable product.

Super Slider Sno-skates were on the most wanted list in the 1970’s for most kids and even some adults. Why? What set them apart from all the other gimmicky products that never made it off the sales floor? It was mostly due to a compelling commercial that played over and over on television at the right time of day and to the right audience (K-tel was known for these types commercials). Two pieces of red plastic that you put on over your boots and are kept in place with shoelaces! Genius idea and someone made a ton of money from it!

Here’s the kicker! They didn’t really work that well. Certainly not like in the commercial. No one cared though. You can read all sorts of nostalgic posts about them and how much fun kids had on them even if what they were doing with them sometimes resulted in trips to the emergency room and the odd broken limb.

They were fun and everyone wanted them and you know why? Advertising. For the times, it was a great ad. People still talk about them today and the original commercial still has an Internet presence and maintains a steady level of views.

Even more interesting is how much people remember them: the name, how it was pronounced during the commercial and more. I know that in my group of friends we used to continually repeat the tagline, “Super Slider Sno-skates,” trying in vain to sound just like the voice in the commercial.

I remember receiving a pair after ranking them near the top of my wish list, hoping my parents would be able to purchase a pair before they sold out. The excitement opening that box was unparalleled and I put them on my boots and went outside planning to ski and do some jumps. That was short-lived and I was soon happy with a shuffle type movement up and down the snow-covered sidewalk. There was lots of falling and doing up laces that kept coming undone but I remember feeling so lucky and excited. I was part of a coveted group and was having at least as much fun as the actors in the commercial.

And that’s where the success lies. This product wasn’t rocket science. There wasn’t one level of sophistication or advanced technology used in them. As mentioned earlier, just two pieces of red plastic with really long shoelaces. That was it and they were a hit.

Even though it was the 1970’s, the commercial and overall, the brand, encompassed important aspects of a successful campaign that still gets a lot of mileage today. It’s an identifiable product and commercial even after all these years and in the world of branding, that’s gold.

And all for $2.99!

Today, the Internet and social media in general, has watered down the impact of the traditional television commercial. But no matter what the platform, the same key ingredients apply for a successful brand campaign today as they did back in the Super Slider Sno-skates day.

Sure, we have a lot of different platforms and with more popping up every day, it’s important to showcase well on every stage and it should be noted that the Super Slider Sno-skates success lied more in the marketing and resulting hype than it did in the actual product.

Super Slider Sno-skates Successful Ad Components

  • A great tagline
  • Compelling copy/strong content/catchy slogan
  • Strong visuals
  • Relating to your audience
  • Timing (this was a holiday campaign for successive years)
  • A consistent and strong identity

Do you have a favourite ad or commercial from yesteryear that still stands up today? Share it in the comments. Better yet, leave your favourite Super Slider Sno-skate memory!


Laurel E. Anderson,
Communications Strategist
and former Super Slider Sno-skates owner

Comments (2)
  • Pam Dillon

    February 11, 2014

    So cool! I want them NOW!

  • vmchick

    February 11, 2014

    Great walk down memory lane!

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