How Tourism Victoria Enhanced the Public’s Perception of BC’s Capital

September 22, 2014

How do you change what people see in your brand?

With the 2008 recession drastically reducing visits to the area, Tourism Victoria knew they needed to make a change. With the help of feedback from travel media and lifestyle journalists, as well as a consumer-centric brand study, they compiled a tremendous amount of qualitative research that helped them better understand how people perceive the city.

Now what do you do with all that information? In Tourism Victoria’s case, they launched creative campaigns that enhanced audience perception of their tourist destination.

Below are three key learnings from Tourism Victoria that helped them come out on the other side of the 2008 recession with a stronger and more recognizable brand.

3 tips in enhancing a perception of a tourist destination

Tip #1: Don’t tell people you’re different. Show them.

Tourism Victoria showed off their city with The Victoria Viewfinder. This creation marries a traditional viewfinder you might find at a lookout point, in this case Canada Place in Vancouver, with a retro View-Master® toy. People who looked through the viewfinder expecting to gaze out over the city they were in, were instead treated to a visual tour of Victoria. This provided a unique opportunity to deliver the experience of being in Victoria without physically being there.

Victoria Viewfinder


Tip #2: Catch your audience off-guard.

Surprising your audience can be very rewarding. For Tourism Victoria, a campaign called Escape Your Everyday did just that. The campaign included a 15-second TV commercial and pre-roll spot that featured three office workers frantically executing an elaborate escape from a drab office space, and concluded with a switch to a slower, relaxed pace that marked their arrival in bright, vibrant, and refreshing Victoria. Billboards also went up that caught consumer’s eyes and had many doing a double take. Some even shared pictures and comments on Instagram and Twitter. To complete the campaign, Tourism Victoria upped the ante by crafting custom-made handcuffs to hang from trees. These handcuffs dominated city blocks and intercepted consumers as they made their early morning trek into work. Initiatives like this are just a few of the ways you can catch your audience off guard with a refreshing perspective.

Escape Your Everyday


Tip #3: Tell a deeper story.

A tourist destination has countless dimensions and facets to it – so why not integrate those unique dimensions into your marketing initiatives? Tourism Victoria played up their vibrant sectors, from tea gardens to a growing tech sector, to add depth to the story of Victoria.

Interested in learning more about how Tourism Victoria won this year’s BCAMA Marketer of the Year Award?

Register today to get your tickets to this year’s BCAMA Marketer of The Year event!