Destination Canada names two new agencies

Ogilvy & Mather and Cossette will split the strategic marketing assignment for the national tourism organization.
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Destination Canada has completed its agency review, selecting two new strategic marketing partners.

Ogilvy & Mather Canada and Cossette will share the assignment, building on the organization’s existing, content-centric marketing strategy. While the kinds of work the assignment covers is similar for both agencies – covering consumer insights and research, managing the Canada brand, strategic planning, social and content – Jon Mamela, CMO of Destination Canada, says the work will be divided up by the market in which it will be deployed. The organization targets 11 countries – Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the UK and the USA – with its advertising, though which agency will handle which market will be decided in the coming weeks.

Destination Canada – previously known as the Canadian Tourism Commission – handles all international tourism marketing for Canada. As a Crown corporation, it is mandated that its advertising business goes under review every four to five years.

DDB Canada previously handled Destination Canada’s strategic marketing assignment, having first been selected in 2004 and last renewing its contract in 2012. The agency declined to participate when Destination Canada’s full roster went under its mandatory review last summer.

“While we have delivered unprecedented results for our long-standing client, as Destination Canada pursues a new direction, we believe it is time for a new agency to pick up and carry the torch that we have lit,” the agency said in a statement provided to strategy when the business went under review, adding that its work has earned 153 awards and resulted in a 51% overall increase in return on investment for the corporation.

Earlier this month, the organization announced that it had moved its digital marketing from Acronym to Digital Innovation Group and its media buying from OMD to IPG Mediabrands.

Mamela says selecting two agencies on the strategic marketing assignment was a goal the organization had in mind going into the review.

“It’s a complex business, with layers between national and local governments representing tourism destinations, private industry partners and the majority of our investment being spent in international markets,” he says. “Given the complexity of what we do, the combination of four agencies allows their time and effort to be really honed in on a reasonable and manageable area of work and drive some outstanding results for us. It also ensures we have a groups that’s bringing the best ideas to the table by, arguably, creating a little bit of competition.”