Home Show aims narrow

Unlike most home shows, the Toronto-based Metro Home Show sets its sights on a very specific audience - so the key to its marketing plan is to focus on niche media and avoid waste.

Unlike most home shows, the Toronto-based Metro Home Show sets its sights on a very specific audience – so the key to its marketing plan is to focus on niche media and avoid waste.

‘Rather than presenting this show as a run-of-the-mill everything to everybody home and garden show, this is intended specifically to address the needs of downtown living,’ says Carol Bell, VP of home shows for North America at organizer DMG World Media.

‘Most people living downtown are in apartments, condos or town homes and typically have less space than people in suburbia, so we are catering to those specific needs,’ she says.

With a budget of more than $200,000, the marketing options are fairly broad, but Bell says it’s important to focus to pull in the right consumers. In order to reach that downtown crowd, DMG makes use of transit advertising and large billboards.

The show, which takes place every January, is also promoted heavily on HGTV, a network that Bell says is very popular among city dwellers. The show’s print ads run in Toronto-centric papers such as Now, Eye and the Toronto Star, as well as downtown community newspapers.

Sponsorship forms a crucial part of the marketing plan, Bell says, and often leads to the inclusion of celebrity names. This year’s lineup of sponsors included Benjamin Moore, Star Choice, Pizza Pizza and HGTV.

A Benjamin Moore ‘design theatre’ was set up at the show, during which Canadian design and décor personalities Jane Lockhart and Mary Dobson were seen decorating new homes. The union with HGTV also led to the inclusion of Nik Manojlovich, host of the HGTV show Savoir Faire, among other popular guests.

Next year’s show will also include a number of celebrity faces, including HGTV’s multi-media design expert Joe Ruggiero, who comes via the newly signed sponsor Norwalk Furniture.

‘Celebrities like these add credibility to the show and help to draw in the crowds,’ says Bell, adding that talent appearances are heavily promoted in all advertising creative.

Bell hopes that the inclusion of Citytv as a new media partner will help boost show numbers in 2003, after DGM narrowly missed the target visitor figure by 1% this past year.