Tridel leverages Web-contest data

If you build it, they will come - but they're more likely to buy if they don't have to shell out a fat down payment. That, in a nutshell, is the rationale behind a permission-based e-mail marketing campaign by Tridel Corporation....

If you build it, they will come – but they’re more likely to buy if they don’t have to shell out a fat down payment.

That, in a nutshell, is the rationale behind a permission-based e-mail marketing campaign by Tridel Corporation. The Toronto-based real estate developer has recently partnered with the Bank of Montreal to offer qualified prospects the chance to enter the real estate market with a minimal down payment.

The duo’s ICAN@TheIcon program – ICAN is short for ‘I Can Afford Now’ – enables participants to buy a condo in Tridel’s trendy Icon building with only $1,000 down; they get to save the remainder of their down payment while the condominium is being built. The Icon is a 12-storey, 270-unit development currently under construction in Toronto’s entertainment district.

The ICAN@TheIcon offer builds on information gleaned during Tridel’s most recent online effort, in which consumers were offered the chance to win a $160,000 condo in return for visiting and filling out an online questionnaire. (See ‘Click and win contests on the rise,’ Strategy, Jan. 17, 2000). Those who responded to the questionnaire, and there were many – the site garnered approximately 12,000 registrations within the first week alone – are now the target of the low-cost down payment offer.

Roman Bodnarchuk, president and CEO of Toronto-based Net Results Internet Advertising, the company that developed and managed the promotion, says it was as a direct result of the customer data collected during that contest that Tridel was able to come up with its latest offer.

‘Twenty-five thousand people told us all about themselves and, as a result, we realized that this first-time buyer demographic, which we were targeting, didn’t have the down payment saved. They had good jobs and were professionals – it was a really good market – they just didn’t have the down payment.’

Bodnarchuk says without such data to back it up, Tridel could not have gone to the bank with an offer to partner on a low down payment deal. Banks, he explains, are not exactly big risk-takers.

Based on the information it gathered, Tridel also learned that virtually no one was interested in a studio or two-bedroom condominium, Bodnarchuk says. As a result, plans for the Icon building were redesigned over the holiday season in an effort to accommodate the more than 6,000 potential buyers who wanted a one-bedroom unit. That month alone, he says, over $10-million of real estate was sold.

The developer will continue to communicate with the prospects in its database via personalized e-mail newsletters and announcements, he says. Already, he says, 25% of Tridel’s sales across all current developments are coming through the Internet, attributing that fact to the high-profile contest and the awareness it brought.

‘The contest is the sizzle, but it’s the back end and what you do with that information that is so powerful,’ he says. ‘Everybody wants something for nothing. So all we’re saying is ‘you can have the prize, just give us some data so we can respectfully and intelligently market to you.”

Google launches a campaign about news connections

The search engine is using archival footage to convey what Canadians are interested in.

Google Canada and agency Church + State have produced a new spot informed by research from the search giant that suggests it is a primary connector for Canadians to the news that matters to them – a direct shot across the bow of the legislators presently considering Bill C-18.

In a spot titled “Connecting you to all that’s news,” the search giant harnesses archival footage reflective of many of the issues Canadians care about deeply, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, truth and reconciliation and the war in Ukraine, to demonstrate the point that many Canadians turn to Google as a gateway to the information and news they’re seeking.

“From St. John’s to Victoria and everywhere in between, when Canadians want to understand or get updated on the most pressing topics, Google connects them to the news sources that provide it,” says Laura Pearce, head of marketing for Google Canada. “All of us at Google are proud to be that consistent and reliable connection for Canadians to the news they’re searching for.”

In some ways, the goal of the campaign was to tap into the varied emotional responses that single news stories can have with different audiences across the country.

“News may be factual, but how people respond to it can be very emotional,” explains Ron Tite, founder and CCO at Church + State. “Importantly, those emotions aren’t universal. One news story can create completely different reactions from different people in different places. Because of that, we simply wanted to let connecting to news be the focus of this campaign. We worked diligently to license a wide variety of actual news footage that we felt would resonate with Canadians.”

The campaign can be seen as a statement by the search provider on Bill C-18 – the Online News Act – that is currently being deliberated by a parliamentary committee. That legislation seeks to force online platforms such as Meta’s Facebook and Alphabet’s Google to pay news publishers for their content, echoing a similar law passed in Australia in 2021. The Act has drawn sharp rebukes from both companies, with Facebook threatening to ban news sharing on its platform.

Google Canada is not commenting on whether this new campaign is a response to C-18, but it has been public in its criticism of the legislation. In testimony delivered to parliament and shared on its blog, Colin McKay, the company’s head of public policy and government relations, said, “This is a history-making opportunity for Canada to craft world-class legislation that is clear and principled on who it benefits.” However, he noted that C-18 is “not that legislation.”

The campaign launched on Oct. 24 and is running through December across cinema, OLV, OOH, podcast, digital and social. Airfoil handled the broadcast production.