Tourism Nova Scotia picks M5 as AOR

The east-coast agency's duties include leading brand, digital and media buying and planning for at least two years.

M5 Marketing Communications will handle a suite of services for Tourism Nova Scotia, having been named the tourism crown corporation’s new agency of record.

Effective next month, M5’s assignment includes brand marketing, digital marketing and media. In a press release, the agency describes its mandate as helping to grow tourism revenues for the province by attracting visitors “from farther away who stay longer and spend more.”

In accordance with the province’s procurement policies, contracts for all three services were awarded following a four-week RFP. As part of those guidelines, M5 will hold the account for two years, with the possibility of three one-year extensions.

The contracts are valued at no more than $10,000,000 annually, according to the tourism agency, with the bulk of the spend going towards media buys in its target markets.

This represents the tourism board’s single largest contract, says Joann Fitzgerald, CMO at Tourism Nova Scotia, and after four years with previous AOR DDB Canada, it “wanted to understand what the agency landscape looked like in terms of brand marketing, media buying and digital marketing.”

She says the tourism agency’s primary marketing challenge is building awareness of Nova Scotia, and that it aims to differentiate as a province by showcasing the variety of activities available to visitors. In the end, M5 scored best on the RFPs across all three service areas.

Tyler MacLeod, VP of client services at M5, says the win will see the agency lead Tourism Nova Scotia’s 2020 campaigns beginning in the spring, will the first batch of “all-new” creative expected to enter into production during the summer for the following year’s campaigns.

In a release, the agency noted its past experience working with clients in the sector. It had Tourism New Brunswick as a client for more than 15 years and it has done work for Cavendish Beach in Prince Edward Island, as well as other regional destination marketing organizations, such as Marble Mountain Resort.

MacLeod says the agency’s strategy, creative, media and digital staff on the account will work together as members of one team, enabling them to share insights and track performance. With the help of MQO Research, a market research firm within the M5 group of companies, he says the agency team can sit “side-by-side with research and evaluation specialists who can help us turn data into insights.”

M5 has offices in Halifax, St. John’s and Moncton, N.B., as well as a U.S. outpost in Manchester, New Hampshire. Outside of the tourism sectors, its client roster includes GM Canada, Subway Canada and Fortis Inc, an electric utility holding company.

Photo: Michel Rathwell via Flickr