Tourism Nova Scotia Sees it Both Ways

April 21, 2017

Tourism Nova Scotia Sees it Both Ways

Tourism Nova Scotia launches the second phase of its "If You Only Knew" campaign


If you think Nova Scotia is all fishing and lighthouses, think again.


A recently launched marketing effort by Tourism Nova Scotia in conjunction with DDB Canada and Halifax branding agency Trampoline seeks to highlight some of the lesser-known parts of the province.


It’s the second phase of 2016’s “If You Only Knew” campaign, which originated the concept of showcasing lesser-known experiences through print, digital and TV. This time around, the creative includes well-known activities, juxtaposing them with more local but equally exciting ones.


The surrounding campaign includes print, billboards, TV spots, videos and digital banners, plus a social media push. The accompanying website offers an interactive travel tool called “Discover Nova Scotia” where travellers can find experiences and activities based on their mood.


Joann Fitzgerald, chief marketing officer of Tourism Nova Scotia, tells us more about the campaign below.


What kind of insights did the 2016 campaign give you about your target market that affected how you approached this campaign?


The 2016 launch of the "If You Only Knew" campaign was the first time Tourism Nova Scotia targeted Authentic Experiencers as well as Cultural Explorers in both Canada and the northeastern United States. Campaign creative testing, as well as media and business performance, indicated that going after these specific demo- and geo- targets resonated. The insight being that Nova Scotia scores awareness with our target, however the consideration of the province as an actual vacation destination was low due to the perception that there might not be enough to do in the province to warrant a flight or drive. From both 2016 testing as well as audience understanding, we leaned on this insight, and showcased that while there is a Nova Scotia people are aware of, there is also a very large part and offering of the province people had no idea exists.  


Is there a specific demographic you are appealing within the Canadian and northeastern US?


We are focusing with equal measure on Authentic Experiencers as well as Cultural Explorers in both Canada and the North Eastern United States. While these two traveller types have individual nuances, they share very important traits. We know that they value experiences over sightseeing, they love authentic travel and like to get off the beaten path.


What led to creating an interest-based tool on the website that would cater to travellers’ preferences?


We know that our audience needs to learn about the breadth of experiences the province has to offer, varying from highly active experiences, to more culinary, marine and cultured travel. We also know that they don’t like creating strict itineraries for their travel. Out of these two insights the experience discovery tool was born. On “Discover Nova Scotia,” potential travellers get to further discover what the province has to offer, on a personalized level. They get to choose what type of experiences they really crave, with what type of activities they are most likely to do—and we serve them a curated list of the best the province has to offer. The tool was created to inspire people about what it would feel like to visit the province. 


Can you shed some more light on the relationship between Tourism Nova Scotia, DDB and Trampoline in terms of creative and execution?


The 2016 content partnership saw Trampoline and Tourism Nova Scotia working closely with operator partners in creating assets that both the province Tourism brand as well as the partners can use to entice travellers. The footage was captured throughout the summer, with DDB consulting, and simultaneously developing the 2017 campaign from these assets.



In terms of the video creative, what mood were you going for?

We knew that the video captured needed to form the base of a content library as well as the base of our advertising campaign. And in both cases, we knew we would be trying to communicate the amazing experiences the province has to offer, so it became less about a look or a mood for the video, and more about immersion, and the ability to create a visceral reaction to seeing the footage, wherever a viewer happened to see it.

We used a team of local directors, cinematographers and photographers. We were very fortunate that Nova Scotia has such deep talent in film production, that when combined with their local knowledge, gave us hundreds of hours of amazing footage.

What about with the print creative?

With our illustration, we knew we wanted to build and expand on people's preconceived notions of what the province has to offer, and find a way to stand out from the rest of a category that advertises itself in similar ways. The approach we landed on, with help from a talented illustrator named Brad Pickard, allowed us to tell two stories at once. We were able to remind people of something they knew and liked about the province at the same time that we showed them something they didn't know, something new they would find appealing.



How will Tourism Nova Scotia be engaging potential travellers with the #VisitNovaScotia hashtag going forward?


In 2017 there will be a more robust social investment that will bring some of the experience-specific videos to both Facebook as well as Instagram within an always-on campaign. #VisitNovaScotia will be used within this campaign.