Imagery reigns supreme in tourism advertising. In Québec, however, we have no icon: no Taj Mahal, Eiffel Tower or Sphinx. Our tourists don’t travel 5,000 kilometres to snap a selfie in front of an iconic symbol. They come to Québec for an intangible experience; a vacation here is a collection of moments that cannot be captured in just one image.
In this context, and because when marketing a brand named QuébecOriginal the pressure for original content is so great, we needed to find a unique way to promote the destination in order to boost interest in the destination and increase border entries.
If imagery reigns supreme in tourism, what if we flipped this convention to market Québec? What if we found a way to showcase the destination without relying on only what we can see? These questions led us to invite Danny Keane, an American tourist who’s been blind since birth, to share with us the experience of his first trip to Québec. We envisioned that, without the one sense that is considered essential for travel, but with his four other more acute senses, Danny could manage to make us see Québec in a powerfully original way.
Blind Love is a digital, social and content campaign rolled out mainly in France, the United States and Canada.
A film crew followed Danny as he discovered Québec from his completely original point of view. In the Blind Love video, which is the core of the campaign, Danny experiences river rafting, piloting a helicopter, paddling with the whales, zip lining, guessing the shape of landscapes and meeting with inspiring locals. Danny lived the best vacation of his life, all the while surrounded by breathtaking panoramas that everyone but him could see.
Historically, Tourisme Québec’s campaigns have highlighted specific hero products according to market: i.e., provincial parks for French tourists or festivals for Americans. In 2016, we chose to make a strong play for long-term impact; to transcend cultural borders with a universal concept that was rolled out simultaneously in all markets.
This strategy allowed us to improve the campaign. International media partnerships generated substantial savings and opened doors that were otherwise closed to Tourisme Québec’s budget. Strategic sequencing
After mobilizing the Québec tourism industry, we reached out to hundreds of influencers who shared the video organically upstream of media investments. The qualified audience who viewed the video was also retargeted and directed to partners’ content.
Increase in border entries: +21.8% (USA), +3.93% (France)
Interest for the destination: +7.993% (USA), +4.287% (France), +520% (Ontario)
Campaign reach: +84%
2016 top 5% tourism campaigns according to Google
Video views: 13.3M (100% more than projected)
15% organic views, including 1M before media investments
$0.10 per view (75% less than projected)
+100% social media mentions of the brand
Partner, Executive creative director: Marc Fortin
Creative director: Marilou Aubin, Katherine Melançon, Jennifer Varvaresso
Campaign and interactive experience: Alexandre Jourdain, Jean-François Perreault, Phillipe Comeau, Marie Ève Gosmick
Strategic planner: Sabrina Côté
User experience: Nicolas Baldovini
User experience: Geneviève Monette
Partner, Executive vice-president: Julie Dubé
Account director: Audrey Lefebvre
Account executive: Nicolas Girault
Account executive: Julia Lemyre - Cossette
Agency producer: Johanne Pelland
Agency producer: Julie Lorazo
Agency producer: Valérie Lapointe
Production company: 1one
Director: Matt Charland
Creative producer: Jean-René Parenteau
Production director: Simon Lebrun
Editor: Olivier Guillemette
Editor: Étienne Bergeron
Sound engineer: Pierre-Olivier Rioux
Post-production producer: Nancy McDonald
Music: Studios Apollo-Mathieu Lafontaine
Production company: lg2fabrique