Collaborative efforts to market Edmonton pay off
Edmonton — Edmonton is getting noticed. At the Alto Awards on October 20, 2014, Edmonton was recognized with two marketing awards: Excellence in Marketing over $50K for Edmonton Tourism’s cheeky “Winter in Edmonton” campaign, and the 2014 Marketing Partnership Award For Edmonton International Airport’s collaboration with Icelandair and Edmonton Tourism for the Icelandmania campaign.
Working closely with the WinterCity Advisory Committee and drawing from the award-winning Winter City Strategy, Edmonton Tourism’s winter campaign had two simple goals: to celebrate the season and embrace daily living in a cold climate, and to promote Edmonton’s great northern story locally, nationally and internationally.
“When the City of Edmonton came together with community leaders to create the WinterCity Strategy, our goal was to turn Edmonton into a world-leading winter city. Well, it’s happening and people are starting to take notice. It’s an exciting time to live in a winter city!” says Trish Webb, chief communications officer for the City of Edmonton.
With social and online media as the focus of the campaign, Edmonton Tourism and DDB Canada produced edgy ads promoting winterinedmonton.com and #ExploreEdmonton. Instagrammers posted pictures of themselves enjoying winter in Edmonton in hopes of winning a coveted gold toque. As a result, Edmonton Tourism exceeded their goal for unique web visits and referred 37% of those visits to partners’ websites.
“Edmontonians used to lament about how gruelling winter is but we’ve changed. Now we say, bring it on!” says Maggie Davison, vice-president, Edmonton Tourism. “This campaign shows Edmonton is a true winter city destination worth embracing.”
The Edmonton International Airport was recognized for their exciting partnership with Icelandair and Edmonton Tourism. They promoted the new direct flight from Edmonton to Iceland, opened up more than 20 destinations in Europe for those in Edmonton, and the gateway into Edmonton for European travellers.
“The Icelandmania marketing platform included bringing key community, business and political leaders together from both cities to draw attention to the service the regular flight could provide between Edmonton, Iceland and Europe,” says Kirstin Brown, manager of regional sales development, Edmonton International Airport. “We brought awareness to the new flights using social media, contests, radio campaigns and digital promotions throughout the airport.”
Marketing efforts paid off. The original date to commence flights was pushed ahead three weeks, and quickly shifted from 41 weeks-per-year to year-round service. More flights were added due to high demand for the new service. EIA also showed a 9.7% increase in international travel since the launch and hotel occupancies are up from 2013 numbers. Our collaboration has only just begun as EIA, Edmonton Tourism and Icelandair seek to create a festival exchange between Edmonton and Reykjavik.
“The Icelandair flight is an important gateway that connects more than 20 European cities through Iceland; promotion of the flight is integrated into Edmonton Tourism’s sales activities and missions. The relationship with Edmonton International Airport and Icelandair is part of an overall strategy, and is a true reflection of effective collaboration between partners,” says Davison.
In addition to the recently awarded Alto Awards, Edmonton Tourism in partnership with DDB Canada and Tribal Worldwide, is a finalist for a Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) Award for ExploreEdmonton.com. The winner will be announced at the 2014 CMA Awards Gala on December 5. Edmonton Tourism’s website has also been recognized by Communication Arts as webpick of the week, and by Applied Arts magazine as the 2014 interactive media award winner in the category of entertainment, arts and tourism.