Newfoundland and Labrador wants travelers to create their own stories

The province’s tourism agency unveils the first of 15 planned print ads as part of its new story-driven campaign.

By Justin Dallaire from Strategy

In January, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism launched “A Tangled Tale” commercial illustrating the provincial tourism agency’s new storytelling approach to marketing.

Now, with the help of longtime AOR Target, the tourism group has unveiled the first print executions of the campaign, positioning the province as an exotic destination for experienced and sophisticated travelers.

The shots are evocative of similar images from the television spot, drawing a clear link between the two mediums. One of them shows a local on a boat with sheep, alongside the copy, “Around here, people like to get to know their sweaters before they knit them.” The other captures the province’s vibrant-coloured row houses. It reads, “When you get this old, you get to wear whatever you like.”

They are the first of 15 planned print executions for the campaign, according to Noel O’Dea, director of strategic and creative planning at Target. Future “chapters of the story” will be deployed at relevant times of the year. For example, Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism is planning to run an “iceberg story” in a few months’ time, once the icebergs can be viewed alongside the northeast coast of Newfoundland.

“Strong visual storytelling is really powerful, because it creates a curiosity and an involvement, and people end up writing their own story in their minds,” says O’Dea. “Those stories are powerful stories that are remembered much more highly and effectively than stories that are told to them.”

“The power to get an audience involved in the picture and bring their own meaning to it, write their own story, is really our strategy from a creative point of view,” he says.

From a strategy perspective, the print ads aim to support the TV campaign and change perceptions around the costs of travelling to the province, says O’Dea. They include geo-targeted price points for Air Canada flights to encourage bookings with the airline ahead of peak travel season.

The ads are appearing as full-page ads on the outside back covers of travel sections in The Globe and Mail, as well as in other major newspapers in key markets. Each is receiving digital support as part of the comprehensive campaign.