The Views are Different Here
Silver Agency of the Year: J. Walter Thompson Canada
Tourism Toronto needed to start moving up the getaway destination shortlists of potential American travelers – the travel-loving, suburban Americans, looking for a weekend getaway. But Tourism Toronto had learned in previous efforts that it wasn’t as easy as it may have sounded. While Toronto’s appeal had increased and people knew the city had a lot of what a typical big city would offer, Toronto was typically on people’s getaway destination long lists, but couldn’t distinguish itself enough to get closer to the top. Boston, Chicago, New York City and even L.A. or Washington were far easier choices. They ticked the same key getaway boxes of arts, museums, food, entertainment, professional sports teams and nightlife. They too had interesting experiences to offer (some were even deemed worthy of multiple trips). But unlike Toronto, they didn’t require a passport.
To move Toronto up on Americans’ getaway lists in a meaningful way, Tourism Toronto needed to crack how to meaningfully differentiate Canada’s biggest city from its American counterparts.
The team knew Toronto had more to offer – it was a world-class city with wonderful attractions, great places to eat and fun places to hang out. But perhaps now more than ever, the city had something even more attractive to offer American leisure travelers: its unique perspective on and attitudes towards the world. In the winter of 2017, Toronto’s openness, diversity, warmth and welcoming spirit were all ready to be served up to potential visitors.
Tourism Toronto and agency JWT decided to do this with a campaign that simply declared: “The Views are Different Here.” The idea took the common tourist notion of ‘seeing the sights’ and coupled it with what could set the city apart: its outlook. The attitudes that made Toronto an open, accepting and welcoming city were wonderful tourism attributes for any city looking to invite travelers in, as well as incredibly differentiating traits that set it apart from the competing markets listed above.
A limited budget meant a targeted approach was needed. A broad-based plan wouldn’t get Tourism Toronto in front of enough prospective travelers, so the team invested in the digital space, looking to connect with those actively searching for a getaway.
Not only did Tourism Toronto try to get in front of prospective travelers while on their planning journey with its 60-second content, it continued to retarget those who initially saw that content with more intimate, singular 15-second stories from Torontonians who were making the city’s ‘views’ great. And lastly, bite-sized six-second content hammered home the campaign’s message duality when it came to ‘views,’ one line of copy at a time.
The campaign captured the imagination of the Americans it was intended for (and, as a bonus, many Canadians). And, while it’s too early to tell if that is translating into higher awareness or travel to the city, engagement numbers suggest the communication has resonated with our southern neighbours, even with limited investment.