Canadian Tourism taps peer-to-peer media scene

The CTC's national summer PR and guerrilla marketing campaign, created by DDB Canada, asks Canadians to help sell holidaying in Canada to their fellow countrymen.

The CTC’s national summer PR and guerrilla marketing campaign, created by DDB Canada, asks Canadians to help sell holidaying in Canada to their fellow countrymen.

Building on its new theme, ‘Keep Exploring,’ the CTC is targeting Canadians who usually vacation outside of the country to let them know about all the places they can explore right here at home. Fittingly, the program launched on Canada Day, with performances of original poetry by two spoken word artists on stage at the celebrations in Ottawa.

The guerrilla-marketing component kicked off at the same time with street teams showing up at select events and festivals across the country throughout the summer to encourage Canadians to explore Canada. The teams are armed with viewfinders showcasing images of some of Canada’s ‘hidden’ destination gems, and giveaways include magnets touting an interactive contest, as well as CDs containing the two poems, a screensaver and info about the contest.

The contest itself is a consumer-generated content effort that asks Canadians to post stories about what inspires them about Canada (at www.canada.travel/keepexploring), for a chance to win an explore-the-country-by rail trip.

CTC is also using its database to send out e-mails to encourage users to continue visiting the website and entering the contest. Additionally, the spoken word performances have been posted on social media sites including Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and Yahoo to further the peer-to-peer aspect.

As per CTC VP Greg Klassen: ‘We’re trying to use this media to challenge the assumptions of what a vacation in Canada could be like and show that Canada actually offers all the things [people are] looking for abroad – especially in the summer.’