I’ve been reading a whole lot of government news releases lately related to award winning advertising campaigns and new advertising campaigns for 2013. When I wasn’t busy reading I was watching television during which time I was seeing a whole lot of commercials for Newfoundland tourism. Well that was my queue for the topic of this week’s column. Of course much of the content of my column will be just regurgitated information but I can’t always make it sound as pretty as the politicians can.
Our province’s 2013 national tourism advertising campaign kicked off in January featuring two new summer advertisements. These latest ads were launched under the award winning ‘Find Yourself’ campaign which was first launched in 2006. This campaign was presented as chapters of a book with each ad telling a story that is specific to Newfoundland and Labrador. These most recent ones that we are seeing air right now are called ‘Most Easterly Point’ and ‘Conversation’.
They are the latest chapters to this ongoing story about Newfoundland and Labrador. ‘Most Easterly Point’ tells the story about Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America, where tourists can go to experience the continents first sunrise. ‘Conversation’ tells a story which portraits us and our language as unique, charming and irresistible, because the fact of the matter is that we have more English dialects spoken here than anywhere else in the world.
Before get too far into this year’s campaign, I should share with you how well our province did at last year’s Adrian Awards. Once again, our province’s ‘Finding Yourself’ advertising campaign cleaned up in a big way. They won nine awards in three different categories, bringing their total winnings for the campaign to 183 regional, national and international awards to date. This success has made our television advertising campaign one of the most acclaimed tourism campaigns in the world. Terry French, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation said, “This is a tremendous honor and one that speaks to the quality of a campaign that is as unique, and as exotic as the place it promotes.” What a great way of putting it. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
This year’s campaign spreads far beyond just television. A series of online videos were just introduced to the provincial tourism website. These videos are intended to provide more depth to the stories shown in the television ads. The television ad campaign will also be supplemented by newspaper advertisements, in-flight and on-line advertising, as well as digital marketing and social media.
If that wasn’t enough, right on the heels of launching its national summer ads, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism launched their province wide advertising campaign which targets Newfoundlanders. It is intended to remind the residents of this province of the tourism opportunities available here year round. Maybe you have noticed the commercials on television over the last few weeks about all the fun you can have here in the winter time. The ads show the beauty of this province in the winter and the variety of activities available such as snowmobiling, zip lining, snowboarding, skiing, dog-sledding and much more. This is an absolute first for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism. They have never before promoted winter tourism on television. Minister Terry French said, “Resident tourism activity continues to play a major role in sustaining the success of our provincial tourism industry.”
This winter’s advertising campaign will run for six weeks and encourages people of this province to take advantage of all winter has to offer here. It features experiences across a wide spectrum of interests ranging from adrenalin rushes to romance and relaxation. In addition to the television coverage, the province is working with tourist operators to offer special winter vacation packages. These packages along with special offers, videos and photographs from the campaign are featured on the Provincial Government’s tourism website.
The 2013 overall campaign is extremely impactful and will continue to bring people to our province. It will also encourage and grow resident tourism, all of which will go a long way in extending our overall tourism season. “All of our advertising material carries a call-to-action, directing viewers to our provincial website”, said Minister French. He also said that we are seeing great results from this approach. It has brought visitation to our province’s website up more than 30 percent in 2012, representing a total of 1.5 million visits.
There is no doubt that Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism’s television ads are extremely impactful and their overall campaign strategy is obviously working for them. The number of awards they have received to date for their ‘Find Yourself’ campaign and seeing the increase in traffic to the province’s website and to the province itself is testament to that.