Shining a light on Montreal

The city is focusing on its festivals and nightlife to attract a younger crowd from Toronto in its first campaign by Lg2.

Tourisme Montreal hopes to make winter a little brighter for millennials as it launches the “Montreal Lights Up!” campaign.

Lg2′s first campaign for Tourisme Montreal since being named AOR last year is centred around the theme of lights, and the first spot features plenty of them flashing and lighting up the night in images of Montreal’s events, festivals and general party atmosphere.

Emmanuelle Legault, VP of marketing at Tourisme Montreal, says the campaign, which will live online, is an attempt to focus on younger travellers under 35. While most in the travel and tourism sector tend to target an older audience with more disposable income for leisure trips, Legault says millennials are interested in multiple, short trips throughout the year.

“We’ve found over the last few years, the younger audience is travelling a lot more than the older audience,” she says. “A lot of that is because it’s not a luxury to travel anymore, it’s a part of their everyday life. If they didn’t, they would be very unhappy.”

The first spot features glimpses of the city’s festivals, such as Montreal High Lights, Igloo Fest and Nuit Blanche, with future videos in the campaign zeroing in on these events. Besides having more social and nightlife elements that appeal to a younger crowd, Legault says these festivals make the city a prime weekend trip destination, which is also why a main target for the campaign are millennials living in Toronto.

“It’s really cost-efficient to book a hotel and trip to Montreal for one weekend” Legault says. “Having such a large proximity audience there and converting it in the short term is a great opportunity for us.”

Tourisme Montreal also partnered with Via Rail to offer discounted travel packages and a contest called “Fill-A-Train.” On the contest website, entrants can claim a seat on a train car and invite 47 of their friends to fill up the remaining seats. Cars that are filled by Feb. 10 will entered into a draw to win free travel, hotel stay and transit passes in Montreal for the Feb. 28 weekend when the city holds Nuit Blanche.

This year, in addition to Via and the city’s festivals, Tourisme Montreal has partnered with destinations like the Museum of Fine Arts, neighborhood organizations and local businesses to plan more events, exhibits and promotions around lights. Legault says this campaign marks the first time the organization has had this many partners in order to provide a more unified theme, expanding it beyond its own campaigns to the activities, social events and entertainment in the city.

Touché handles all of Tourisme Montreal’s media buying.