Toronto Port Authority Promo, Case study SAIL IN CINEMA by Grey Toronto


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Industry Cinemas, Theatres & Concert Halls
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Canada
Agency Grey Toronto
Art Director Logan Gabel, Richard Dao
Account Supervisor Amanda Lynne Ballard
Released August 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Public Sector
Chief Creative Officer: Patrick Scissons (Grey (Canada))
Writer: Samra Habib (Grey (Canada))
Writer: Chuck Marino (Grey (Canada))
Art Director: Logan Gabel (Grey (Canada))
Art Director: Richard Dao (Grey (Canada))
Account Supervisor: Amanda Lynne Ballard (Grey (Canada))
Junior Producer: Deena Archibald (Grey (Canada))
Event Development: (Smak)
Media placement: Social - Facebook - June 13, 2011
Media placement: PR - Coverage Multi Media - August 4, 2011
Media placement: Events - Toronto - Augsust 18, 2011
Media placement: Advertising - Toronto Star - August 4, 2011

Summary of the Campaign
The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) had been managing the city’s waterfront for 100 years. Even so, no one really knew they were. To celebrate their centennial, the TPA wanted an idea that would help them get noticed and connect with the local community. So we created the first ever floating movie theatre, ‘Sail-In Cinema’.

Constructed from 20 tons of barge steel, the 50-foot high inflatable screen in Lake Ontario played fan-voted water-themed movies for boaters and land lovers alike.
The PR value of the story was that Sail-in Cinema was a world first. Instead of putting out yet another generic corporate image campaign for a government agency, the TPA was celebrating their centennial by giving something back to the waterfront community and creating something that used the waterfront itself. It was a compelling story to tell.

During the 3-day event, ‘Sail In’ Cinema earned over 1m earned media impressions, sold out 5,000 free tickets and hosted close to 500 boats.

The Situation
The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) had been managing the city’s waterfront for 100 years. The challenge was that even after all that time, no one really knew who they were. Celebrating their centennial was the right opportunity to try and do something that increased their awareness and help them better 'connect' with the local waterfront community.

The Goal

The primary goal was brand awareness and positive
 press pick-up in all media – traditional print, digital, and social networks. The secondary objective was strong attendance and participation to the Sail In Cinema itself. There were 4 different target audiences we reached out to to drive interest:

1. Corporate: Companies that operate on or near the waterfront and already have regular contact with the Toronto Port Authority.

2. Government: Other government bodies, like provincial government and Mayor’s office.

3. Press: All local and national press, including print, digital and online communities.

4. Consumer: People that live in Toronto and more specifically, boaters that use the waters extensively.

The Strategy
The overall PR strategy had 3 parts:

1.First and foremost, leverage the uniqueness of the idea and the story because it was a world first.

2.Secondly, communicate that it’s free to attend and that we’re putting it on to give something back to the community that calls the waterfront home.

3.Finally, invite the public to help choose which water-themed movies are featured.

Planning for Sail-In Cinema started 5 months prior, including securing legal and coast guard approval for recreational use of the waterways.

Building of the Sail-In Cinema structure began 12 weeks prior.

PR efforts using traditional media started 4-weeks prior with a press conference announcing the idea and encouraging online voting to help decide which water-themed movies would be featured. Grassroots efforts included postcard drops on boats at local sailing clubs.

And online hub is where the public could download their complimentary tickets and get more information. Digital PR & online community outreach including movie voting continued up until 2 weeks prior before it was announced the 3 films chosen – Jaws, Finding Nemo and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Documented Results
During the 3-day event, ‘Sail In’ Cinema earned over 1m earned media impressions, sold out 5,000 free tickets and hosted close to 500 boats.

98% of sentiment feedback from online communities was positive and supportive of the Toronto Port Authority.

Every press article written, online community post and commentary made was positive. The event was featured in the Toronto Star as one of the top 5 'must do' events of the summer.

The Toronto International Film Festival approached the Toronto Port Authority for future consideration of using Sail In Cinema as an official venue for the festival.