Travel Manitoba’s new marketing campaign goes for the heart

New insights for the climb up Canada's tourism ladder

New insights for the climb up Canada’s tourism ladder

Travel Manitoba is competing for a bigger share of Canada’s tourism dollars with the launch of an ambitious marketing campaign developed by its agency of record, McKim Communications Group.

The campaign has a 2014 budget of $2.4 million.

The new strategy focuses on delivering an emotionally resonant message, said McKim president and CEO Peter George. That’s a departure from previous, more “tactically driven” campaigns. This one will position the province as an “awe-inspiring” yet quintessentially Canadian destination with the tagline “Manitoba: Canada’s Heart… Beats” (a nod to its location in the heart of the country).

The campaign, which has been in development for 18 months, began with extensive research by Environics. They found that Manitoba’s tourism offerings fit into two main categories—accessible wilderness and cultural oasis—and that’s what McKim aimed to convey with four evocative, though slow-paced TV ads.

One commercial, currently available on YouTube and TravelManitoba.com, highlights a polar bear viewing out in Churchill’s wintry landscape, while another begins with, “Welcome to the middle of nowhere.”

When asked if these snowy, isolated scenes reinforce outsiders’ preexisting expectations of Manitoba, George contends that there’s still a lack of awareness about what the province offers.

“When I was in Churchill last winter, most of the other travellers were from other countries. Most had heard about polar bears, but they’d never heard about Manitoba,” said George. “They also said the Churchill experience was the best wildlife safari they’d ever been on, so that gave us a unique jumping-off point we thought we could leverage.”

The TV ads will be carried during broadcasts of Sochi 2014 and the Juno Awards, as well as on Air Canada flights. Although the media plans are still being finalized, George said they will also target national daily newspapers and online/social media.

This is the biggest travel/tourism marketing campaign that McKim has developed. The agency has worked with clients such Mosaic (the potash supplier), the University of Manitoba and Manitoba Hydro.

According to Statistics Canada, the top four provinces for tourism revenues are Ontario, Quebec, B.C. and Alberta—with Manitoba ranking seventh (behind Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan). Travel Manitoba’s goal is to move into fifth place by 2017.

Brands Articles

KFC Canada tests beer at two Toronto locations

Starting this fall, the quick-serve restaurant will serve domestic and imported beer

Milk West and DDB launch animated webseries

No hard sell, just a milk carton and his buddies

Air Canada and Rickard’s seek Canada’s top bars

Promotion in enRoute magazine connects beer brand to top pubs in cities across Canada

Watch This: Moment Factory lights up Parc de la Gorge

Turning a park into a glowing, immersive, multimedia experience to convince hikers to stay the night

Most chief marketers feel underpaid: CMO Council report

Smart alliances and digital skills key to CMOs' salary

Interbrand opening ‘corporate citizenship’ office in Canada

Move reflects Canadians' heightened interest in social values and the environment

HBC closing two Home Outfitters

Move is part of plan to merge with Hudson's Bay Home brand and drive more sales online

Elvis spotted around GTA in new campaign

It’s viva… Blue Mountain, as celebration of all things Elvis marks 20th anniversary

Walmart marks Eid with Facebook recipe ad

Using digital and social to reach multicultural consumers