Building on the refinement and the success of our marketing strategy from FY2015-16 of utilizing seasonal campaigns, FY 2016/17 has seen further refinement to experiential focused campaigns highlighting our major experience categories; Beer, Wine and Culinary (BWC), Waterfront, and Ancillary. The campaigns geographically targeted primarily proximity drive markets including bordering U.S markets, Michigan, Ohio & Western New York and Southern Ontario Markets outside of Ontario’s southwest including Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Niagara, Oakville, Brantford, Hamilton and the outer Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The secondary geographic markets were the GTA and within Ontario’s Southwest.
The two major experience campaigns, Beer, Wine and Culinary and Waterfront, make up the bulk of marketing in 2016/17 along with a smaller Ancillary campaign focused on tourism experiences (e.g. cycling, fishing, and camping), which may not be known as well known as its core experiences (e.g. beaches). The campaign tactics for both major campaigns includes digital advertising tactics such as Google Advertising, Audience Targeting System display advertising, Facebook, Media Relations, Video, E-blasts, Social Media, and more; plus additional tactics unique to the individual campaigns.
Beer, Wine and Culinary (BWC) Campaign
Last year’s BWC campaign was centered on branding Ontario’s Southwest as the “up & coming” region to discover great craft beer, wine & culinary in Ontario. This year’s campaign will continued to build off of that premise by utilizing an episodic video series, called Next Stop: Taste. The video series will take prospective travellers on what appears to be an unplanned and unscripted trip throughout the region, effectively communicating how the local BWC experience is unique to the destination by utilizing in-market influencers to highlight local industry personalities, their product, and the different venues and environment that visitors can explore. Over the 2016/17 fiscal year, six episodes will be released periodically along with 24 trailers.
- Next Stop Taste Video Series (One episode can be watched below)
- Next Stop Taste Blogs
- Digital Ads
As a part of the BWC campaign, our second annual pop-up event, called the Ontario’s Southwest City Fare, was held in downtown Toronto in May to bring some of the region’s amazing beer, wine & culinary right to the heart of the GTA and have influencers and media along with other foodies to taste the regional flavours. Over 40 vendors provide samples to 475 guests including 112 media & guests. View the report below for in-depth results of the event and photos.
Building on the successes of the 2015 Build a Better Beach Vacation campaign, in 2016 waterfront campaign continued to focus on promoting the family friendly, unique, and best-in-class beaches of Ontario’s Southwest to the target market of young families from close proximity drive markets in Ontario & near borders U.S states using the mantra “Ontario’s Best Beach Vacations”. In order to deliver this experience paid tactics like Facebook advertising, sponsored content, programmatic digital advertising and e-marketing were used to complement our “Win a Best Beach Adventure” contest where we will give away an amazing three-day beach getaway for four people to add to our list of email subscribers.
For the FY 2016/17 a campaign was created to focus on Ontario’s Southwest ancillary (cycling, boating, fishing and camping) products. This campaign was created with the objective of creating effective content marketing that promotes specific stories that provide information about Ontario’s Southwest’s multiple and varied ancillary tourism products. Using Facebook newsfeed ads, Facebook boosted posts, native advertising and E-marketing we were able to drive traffic to the Trip Inspiration (blog) page on OntariosSouthwest.com and help inform consumers about the variety of activity options available in the region.