Quebec’s Tourism Alliance takes a documentary approach

A new web series aims to show off the province from the traveller's point of view.

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With its new “Born to Let Go” web series, Quebec’s Tourism Alliance is telling stories about the province’s natural and cultural bounty from the travellers’ point of view.

In order to give its audience a new perspective, the Alliance handed over the storytelling reins to two sets of international travellers – one a couple of young professionals and the other a mother-daughter team. They chronicle their travels doing things like surfing the St. Lawrence and getting up close and personal with a moose.

“We told them we are going to give you the pictures and the videos to tell the stories you want to tell,” says Sébastien Viau, VP sales and marketing, Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec. He says that when it comes to tourism campaigns, too often the location talks too much about itself. The Alliance wanted to offer not only a traveller’s voice, but also more detailed, longer content videos.

“We were not looking at traveller influencers,” Viau says. “We were looking for people with a point of view on life that kind of match what we want to tell people.” For example, one of the travellers, Paola, quit her job to travel abroad with her mom and pursue her passion for photography. The organization hoped that her perspective would provide more flavour and move beyond the typical travel spot clichés. In one episodes, she asks street artists about Montreal’s graffiti, and in another, asks locals to pose for photos, lending it a journalistic quality.

Viau says that consumer insights suggest there’s an appetite for these larger formats, especially in tourism. The eight-episode series features videos that are three to five minutes in length and the new campaign builds thematically on last year’s “Let Go” campaign “by pushing the storytelling further by taking more of a Netflix series approach,” Viau says. The “Let Go” campaign also focused on traveller adventures, but in the form of more traditional spots and less unscripted interactions.

The campaign launched on March 29, is targeting Canada, U.S. and France. Four additional episodes aimed at the Mexican market are planned to launch in the fall, featuring actor and blogger Alan Estrada.

Québec singer-songwriter Charlotte Cardin and music producer CRi are behind the official song for the series, a cover of Fous n’importe où by Daniel Bélanger, an ode to road trips and freedom that is a classic vacation soundtrack for thousands of Quebeckers.

“It’s playing on Quebec radio stations. It’s phenomenal that something crafted for advertising, is now a mainstream success,” says Viau, who adds that its goal every year is to have one song by a Quebec artist. In its previous campaign, homegrown artist Geoffroy composed Wanderer for the Alliance.

The Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec created the web series with Cossette, Hearts & Science, Cult Nation and Post-Moderne.