Hotels.com tries to rename the August long weekend

In a campaign stunt on Twitter, the travel site sourced ideas for a consistent name to be used across Canada.
hotels.com

While Canadians in certain provinces across the country enjoyed an extra day off this weekend, some celebrated a Civic Holiday, others Colonel By Day, Simcoe Day or another one of a dozen names given to the annual August long weekend. Of the four long weekends celebrated during the summer, it is the only one that does not have a consistent name across Canada.

Hotels.com and agency J. Walter Thompson Canada leveraged this fun fact in a new campaign on Twitter, challenging people to “#NameThatWeekend.” The campaign was launched in mid-July through a video on Twitter detailing the contest.

Canadians were asked to share their name ideas on Twitter using the hashtag. From there, a shortlist comprising the top four contenders – “Pre-snow Shenanigans Long Weekend,” “Longust Weekend,” “Holid’eh Long Weekend” and “Last Hurrah Long Weekend” – was compiled.

Canadians voted for their favourite through a Twitter poll, ultimately landing on “Longust Weekend,” and Hotels.com sent a $1,000 gift card to the person who submitted the suggestion.

“There’s such a wide range of chatter that happens across Twitter around topics like holidays, so the platform was leveraged both for creative insights and its ability to really create personalized, real-time messaging,” says Katie Van, director of North American brand creative for Hotels.com.

Hotels.com is no stranger to Twitter-based campaign stunts aimed at the Canadian market. It has had some success engaging with consumers through user-generated contests, notes Cory Eisentraut, executive creative director at J. Walter Thompson Canada. Last year’s “Winter Swear Jar” campaign rewarded Canadians every time they vented their frustration with winter weather using vulgar language on Twitter. Once a virtual swear jar reached a $1,000 benchmark, the brand raffled off a gift card for the same amount to a participant who had contributed to its contents.

Ever since launching its first Canadian-specific campaign in 2016, Hotels.com has tried to build momentum through interactive social campaigns like its “Temp Captain” contest last summer Eisentraut, who joined JWT a few months ago, says the latest effort was another way of “connecting the brand to life in Canada and showing they really understand Canadian travelers.”

Next, the company will be lobbying to have the August long weekend declared a federal holiday called “Longust Day” using spokesperson Captain Obvious, who appears in a Twitter video and encourages viewers to check out its petition on change.org.