Tourism Prince George merges wildlife with nightlife

A rebranding focuses on showing people in B.C. the kinds of urban activities that can complement outdoor adventures.
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Tourism Prince George is looking to draw in regional travellers with its latest rebrand by showing that, in addition to its scenic outdoors and majestic wildlife, it’s also an urban centre with lifestyle and culture.

The rebrand consists of a new slogan and positioning, “Basecamp To The North,” pointing to Prince George, B.C. being the portal to northern Canada, “the hub for Northern B.C.” and the largest city in the northern part of the province, according to Annie Doran, manager of marketing and brand for Tourism Prince George.

A new website not only features images of people enjoying outdoor activities in Prince George – like snowboarding and canoeing – but also shows more urban activities, such as taking in local gourmet cuisine or a “wine flight” on the Northern Lights Estate Winery Bistro patio.

A new spot – created by 6ix Sigma Productions – primarily highlights the outdoors of Prince George, showing people camping and hiking, before getting ready in their hotel room for an evening at a local pub.

While the spot skews more towards the outdoors, the lifestyle and cultural pieces are being communicated more heavily on social media, Doran says, showing local events and eateries in the market. For example, on Oct. 28, the brand promoted a drive-thru trick-or-treating event taking place at 10 hub locations throughout the city, and it has also promoted limited-capacity shows by the town’s symphony orchestra.

The brand wanted to create awareness of the urban elements that it’s not necessarily known for and that its target may not be completely cognizant of.

“We have a university, a university hospital; we offer entertainment, nightlife, an amazing culinary scene, some really eclectic shopping downtown,” Doran says. “We have these great urban elements that we really wanted to celebrate.”

Regional travellers are Tourism Prince George’s target, as they’re existing consumers who have visited in the past, but they’re also the group that’s currently expressing interest in visiting the city as travel habits across Canada get increasingly localized during the pandemic. Doran says these travellers come into Prince George for reasons other than a full vacation, but still look to “tack on other activities” that they may not have in their communities when they are there for business or visiting family.

“That’s what the new brand is really good at doing – focusing in on specific audiences and then we can use our content to speak to them individually, in a more niche way, instead of a blanketed approach,” she says.

The new branding comes with a paid buy on social media and digital, as well as a contest that has been giving away  “staycation” packages every month since September. Partner & Hawes worked on the brand and creative strategy.