NL Tourism gets ‘real’ on the Gardiner

Commuters along Toronto's busy Gardiner Expressway have had something unusual to look at while stuck in gridlocked traffic lately. St. John's-based Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism commissioned artist Cam Mahy to paint a calm-inducing coastal scene to get Torontonians thinking about an eastern getaway. Mahy spent three weeks crafting his masterpiece .

Commuters along Toronto’s busy Gardiner Expressway have had something unusual to look at while stuck in gridlocked traffic lately. St. John’s-based Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism commissioned artist Cam Mahy to paint a calm-inducing coastal scene to get Torontonians thinking about an eastern getaway. Mahy spent three weeks crafting his masterpiece .

‘Most people see the superboard as a static medium. Instead, we looked at it as a canvas – like a story that reveals itself as it goes along,’ says Noel O’Dea, president and director of strategic & creative planning at St. John’s-based Target, adding that this is the latest execution building on the popular ‘Fresh Air’ platform.

‘The billboard was painted by a human, as opposed to being a digital vinyl panel,’ O’Dea continues. ‘It’s a very good metaphor for Newfoundland itself, because it’s an authentic, organic place rather than a plastic, manufactured one.’

The painting also reinforces the province’s creativity. ‘We’re a culture rich with artistic talent,’ says Carmela Murphy, director of tourism marketing for Newfoundland’s tourism, culture and recreation department. ‘The idea of actually painting a billboard really stands out and grabs attention.’ Murphy adds that the location was also a very strategic decision. ‘We’re hitting people at a time when they’re stuck in gridlocked traffic, and very receptive to the idea of getting away,’ she says.

The highway art will be up until mid-August.

advertiser: Carmela Murphy, director, tourism marketing,

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

agency: Target

CD: Tom Murphy

ADs: James Jung, Jessica Tipping

copywriter: Jenny Smith

painter: Cam Mahy
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