Redefining progress

Prince Edward County wants to make city dwellers long for a simpler, more authentic experience.

Prince Edward County is trying to redefine progress with a new campaign geared at boosting awareness of the Ontario tourist destination.

As part of the region’s bid to compete against other popular tourist hot spots (Muskoka, Kawarthas and Niagara on the Lake in particular), it’s rolled out a new digital and social media campaign from BBDO, featuring beautiful, slow-moving imagery of the area.

The campaign is based around the concept of “real progress,” says Tim Welsh, SVP creative operations and new business at BBDO, and is a bid to get people thinking differently about what the term actually means. More and more, progress is measured by income and material wealth he says. “[But] it’s about idealism and an ideology about how life should be lived,” he says.”It’s about getting back to a state of mind where things are real and authentic.”

Carlos Moreno, SVP/ECD at the agency, adds that one of the major insights behind this campaign is that the core target – that is those who live in nearby cities including Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal – long for a bohemian lifestyle, and creative was designed to capture that longing.

The destination has been popular with retirees, says Neil Carbone, director of community development at the County. However, the recent addition of high-speed internet to the area means that younger generations have started trickling to the region.

Beyond that, the campaign specifically steered clear of an age demo when creating the campaign, he says, adding that the brand has battled the “Hamptons of Toronto” stereotype in the past, and wanted to avoid being associated with any feel of exclusivity. Prince Edward County is a great location for everyone from families to couples, he says. Instead, the brand wants to reach folks who are seeking more experiences from their travel.

The campaign will be supported by Facebook and possibly Instagram (the company is exploring the channel now) as well as print. Welsh says they decided to pulse out the campaign now, as opposed to when tourism would be higher during the fall harvest, because now is the time people start longing (and more importantly planning) for summer trips, and the long lead time and follow-up campaign planned for spring next year will help encourage people to book their visits to the area.

The brand worked alongside director Chris Muir of Someplace Nice, editing company Married to Giants, while Alter Ego handled colour and Grayson Matthews completed music and sound.