Tourism Calgary tries to rein in Torontonians

Find out why Toronto is the "best opportunity" for the tourism board

Hogtown got a taste of Cowtown last week, as Tourism Calgary held a promotional campaign at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. The “Under the Hat” campaign was created to entice Torontonians to discover Calgary.

Tourism Calgary kicked off the campaign, which ran May 17 and 18, by putting a giant inflatable white cowboy hat in the harbour, where it stayed throughout the weekend. Event activities included rock climbing on a 50-foot rock wall against a virtual backdrop of the Alberta Rockies, music from Cowtown Opera Co., classic midway fare prepared by Calgary chefs Karine Moulin and Pierre Lamielle, and the opportunity to meet members of the Calgary Stampede.

As it aims to grow tourism revenues by about $2.3 billion by 2020, Tourism Calgary has been focusing its marketing efforts mostly on Alberta and Saskatchewan, said Jeff Hessel, vice-president of marketing at Tourism Calgary. But the organization knows that to reach its goal, it has to expand in other markets.

“Through research, we have identified that Toronto is probably the best opportunity for Tourism Calgary,” said Hessel. “People in Toronto are very open to the messaging of travelling to Calgary and what we have to offer. They can also see that Calgary is becoming a very different city and we have a lot more to offer than we did five or 10 years ago.”

Commenting on the giant white cowboy hat, Hessel said, “Calgary is fortunate to have an icon that is internationally recognized… It’s a symbol of our Western hospitality, so we thought the hat is the best way to start the conversation with the people of Toronto.”

The event also included representatives from Calgary Stampede, Travel Alberta, Banff Lake Louise Tourism, Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance and Heritage Park Historical Village.

Tourism Calgary promoted the event through media relations, social media, radio spots and street teams in Toronto. The campaign was developed with Venture Communications.

Brands Articles

How Google’s ‘agency for agencies’ tells brand stories

The managing director for The Zoo opens up at C2 Montréal

AmEx influencer campaign travels north of expectations

Social and acquisition teams band together for the company's latest campaign

Shinola’s expansion into Canada gets a PR boost

Detroit-based manufacturer looks to settle in Toronto with help from ASC Public Relations

Canada Goose to open Toronto, New York retail stores

The luxury outerwear brand is investing in its first-ever standalone locations

Thinkingbox looks to grow globally with new funding

Vancouver-based digital production studio lands its first outside investor

Belairdirect heads to medieval times in its new campaign

The brand is going back in time to show how easy insurance has become

Etsy’s Chad Dickerson defines the brand he wants to build

The maker marketplace's CEO talks growth and good business practices

Grindr CEO: The seductive trap all apps must avoid

Joel Simkhai on how his brand is all about the size... of his user base

McDonald’s gets personal with new ad campaign

Cossette creates a series of on-the-fly commercials in the back of a Whitby location