Tourism Vancouver Promo, Case study THISISOURVANCOUVER.COM by DDB Vancouver

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Industry Destinations (Countries & Places)
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Canada
Agency DDB Vancouver
Creative Director Cosmo Campbell
Art Director James Bateman, Dean Lee
Copywriter Jessica Schnurr
Producer Zara Thomas
Released June 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Corporate Responsibility
Creative Director: Dean Lee (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Creative Director: Cosmo Campbell (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Creative Director: James Bateman (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Copywriter: Jessica Schnurr (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Art Director: Dean Lee (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Art Director: James Bateman (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Account Manager: James Pelletier (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Account Manager: Lance Saunders (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Producer: Zara Thomas (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Developer: Justin Macleod (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Social Strategists: Nik Badminton (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Social Strategists: Chris Walts (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Social Strategists: Jon Mandell (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Planner: Natalie Godfrey (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Managing Director: Martine Levy (DDB Pubic Relations)
Director Corporate Communications: Paige Calvert (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Account Manager: Chris Dagenais (DDB Canada (Vancouver))
Senior Consultant: Greg Vallentin (DDB Pubic Relations)
Account Director: James Loftus (DDB Pubic Relations)
National President/Chief Operations Officer: David Leonard (DDB Canada)
Media placement: Consumer PR (Media Relations, Issues Management) - 85 Placements Including Forbes, The Huffington Post, The Globe And Mail/CTV News/CBC News/ - 15-24 June 2011

Summary of the Campaign
As the Vancouver Canucks entered the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, energy ran high. But when the game was lost, collective joy gave way to mob mentality. For 1 night, the city burned. As news of the riot spread, Vancouver’s safe and friendly image became tarnished, seemingly beyond repair. In the days following the riot, symbols of destruction were transformed into symbols of hope, as citizens turned to the temporary plywood on damaged storefronts to express their love for Vancouver.

Seizing the opportunity to showcase this display of affection, was born; a 100% crowd-sourced online platform for Vancouverites to convey their positive feelings to the world. Comments, photos and videos were all aggregated from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube and through direct tweets that used the hashtag #thisisourvancouver.

To showcase Vancouver as a city on the mend, courtesy of its citizens, and to quickly restore the city’s damaged reputation, a tactical public relations program, involving swift, pro-active outreach to traditional and digital media was developed and executed, on behalf of Tourism Vancouver, only days after the riot began.

By enabling Vancouverites to promote their city themselves and using PR to spread awareness, we were able to show the world that the riot wasn’t an accurate representation of Vancouver. Our ability to act quickly allowed us to build upon the raw emotions of Vancouverites, producing a more impactful promotion of Vancouver than a traditional ad campaign could ever achieve.

The Situation
The campaign was devised for Tourism Vancouver. National and international media were reeling from Vancouver’s uncharacteristic display of recklessness, and there was a dire need to redirect the focus from a burning Vancouver to a healing Vancouver. The task was to centralise a message of hope from all key stakeholders and raise media awareness, through traditional and digital media relations, that Vancouver’s citizens were at the forefront of a citywide healing effort. The massive outpouring of support from residents represented the city’s true colours; the world needed to see that and we acted quickly to ensure it was shown.

The Goal
Program goals and objectives included:

• Showcasing the true nature of the city and its people and spreading the message nationally and internationally,

• Reminding the nation of the positive sentiment associated with Vancouver that existed before the events transpired to nullify any negative press that was generated

In order to meet these goals, the team monitored media coverage and online conversations hourly each day to identify target media and social influencers and equally as important, to determine what they were saying. Our target audience was: national print, broadcast and digital news media outlets.

The Strategy
The PR team immediately reached out to Tourism Vancouver and partners such as the Canadian Tourism Commission and the Mayor’s office to capture sentiment on the remarkable community spirit that had risen out of the ashes of the riot. We immediately executed a media relations program that included the development of a consumer-focused press release that represented these stakeholders. The release was disseminated nationally via newswire 2 days after the riots, and was followed up by rigorous one-to-one outreach to top-tier journalists to ensure the message was being heard. The media relations campaign included more than 48 consecutive hours of phone and email outreach conducted by a dedicated PR team.

To effectively manage the city’s reputation, this campaign was conceptualised and executed within 48 hours following the Vancouver riots. The plan was to stave off negative sentiment towards Vancouver and redirect it into positive news coverage. The campaign length was no more than 2 weeks; however the platform continues to garner interaction on a daily basis.

Traditional PR tools were utilised in an effort to keep the focus on the social issue at hand and the ‘good news’ story angle. The media relations campaign consisted of a press release announcing the Tourism Vancouver collaboration, the agency’s development of the social media/user-generated platform, and the positive impact it would have on the city of Vancouver. The release was issued 3 days after the riots began, with the media relations program commencing immediately upon its distribution and lasting for 2 full days. The program ran according to plan.

Documented Results
Following the campaign launch and media and digital media outreach, the positive results became clear:

• The media relations campaign garnered over 19m media impressions with an overwhelmingly positive tone. The selfless efforts of the citizens of Vancouver were recognised in most major national news outlets including Forbes, The Huffington Post, the Globe and Mail and CTV News
• Using Canada’s industry standard editorial measurement system (MRP), the media relations campaign achieved a quality score of 77.65%, putting it on par with other highly successful brand development campaigns
• In 2 weeks: 28,300 page views, 19,000 visits, 14,800 visitors to the website
• 2,000 'likes' and 2,059 Facebook 'shares'
• Positive sentiment in blogosphere up 33.4% (blog, media and social sentiment was actually more positive following the week after June 15th, 2011 than it was in weeks prior)
• Our site inspired similar tactics internationally, helping London to recover from their riots. (See