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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Toursim - Newfoundland and Labrador Does it Right

A big tip of the hat and hearty pat on the back to the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Tourism and all the folks involved in promoting the province these days.

It’s not often anyone feels the need to congratulate a government department, minister or even the worker bees in government but this is one of those rare occasions.

Had I not spent the past few months traveling to various parts of Canada I probably wouldn’t have noticed the frequency and abundance of well made Newfoundland and Labrador tourism commercials being aired on a daily basis. The fact is that I have been moving around quite a bit and have indeed noticed, with great pleasure, the all out campaign that appears to be underway to attract tourists to the most beautiful place on earth.

It seems as though you can’t turn on a T.V. these days without being transported to a different time and place by some the highest quality commercials developed and aired with the absolute intent of sparking a keen interest in one of the most friendly, peaceful, picturesque and enjoyable places on the planet.

Not only are the commercials well made, they are well targeted as well.

Airing on networks like CTV Newnet, the history channel and Discovery Civilization (three of my favorites) they clearly target a demographic that is interested in the world around them, are likely above the age of 30 (read higher income earners) and generally better educated than those who prefer the banality of most network television.

The bonus of course (and likely the original thinking behind the specific network placement) is the lower cost of advertising on such stations. That may be the bonus for the taxpayer but the fact remains that the placement and presentation couldn’t be better.

On most of my previous travels the people I met often asked me, "Where is Newfoundland anyway..." or "Do you really eat raw fish...". Over the past few months however anyone who has discovered that I’m from Newfoundland and Labrador has been quick to comment on how interesting and beautiful the place must be. No doubt this change in attitude is at least partly attributable to the province’s promotion of itself, in fact some of those I’ve met have specifically mentioned the latest crop of commercials.

I’ve also noticed that the province is now directly targeting outdoor adventure tourists by placing inexpensive hunting and fishing ads on websites frequented by hunters and anglers. The catch, and the reason why the ads are becoming very popular with site visitors, is that the they are presented as online games that the public can enjoy. If you catch a virtual fish or bag a virtual moose you are treated to a little piece of information about the natural wonders of Newfoundland and Labrador. Brilliant!!!

Over the past couple of budgets the province has increased tourism funding and from all indications the money is being used very wisely. Not something anyone can often say about government programs but something it’s certainly a pleasure to do.

Author’s note: Written from a hotel room in Fredericton New Brunswick. In the time it took me to write this, with CTV Newsnet in the background, no less than four Newfoundland and Labrador tourism commercials have aired. (and I write fairly quickly)


Anonymous said...

I agree. It's nice to see a good news story for a change.

I live in ON, I'm from NL though, and I used to hear a lot of crap about NL but I see the commercials all the time and I think others do. Now when someone talks to me about NL they say, it must be a great place or that they never knew how nice it was.

It even seems to be softening up some people who have been dead set against us over the Accord battle also. Maybe one of the side benefits of this is that once people get to know you they tend to side with you. I've noticed it and I didn't a while back

By the way, this is the first time I left a comment though I've visited your blog often. I love the commentaries and hope you keep up the great work. It's nice to find a place where I can read about what the issues are at home having it filtered through the closed mind of non-NL media. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

Call me Anon#2.
I saw the ads for Nfld tourism on Ontario TV. My first thought was : unless I am lily white, irish or similar decent and into nature and camping, I wouldn't want to set foot there.

I don't know if that was the intent of the ads, but that's the result.

Alternatively, the TV ads for Nova Scotia and the ones for rural Quebec look exciting and fun. I'm planning a trip through the Gaspé and beyond (Eastward) this summer. Won't be stopping in Nfld.

Better luck next time!

Anonymous said...

It says a lot about your mentality that you could look at a commercial that depicts an open country atmosphere and see something anti-ethnic.

I hope you enjoy your vacation because it's people with ingrained biases like you that NL doesn't need or want.

I'm sure you'll enjoy your comsmopolitan excursion.

come home year said...

I would like to know how much royaltys Great Big Sea is getting paid for multiple years of using their song.

Patriot said...

Like I said Ed, I'm sick of preaching to the sold out folks like you. By the way, thanks for the suggestion.