2020 is a ‘Stay Home Year’ says Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

By Chris Powell of The Message

Who: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, with Target.

What: “Stay Home Year,” a new campaign aimed at Newfoundlanders, urging them to vacation within the province and rediscover their home.

When & Where: It’s a 10-week campaign comprised of three TV spots, three radio spots, digital display, social media and search, as well as Facebook “Home” profile filters. There’s also a dedicated microsite, StayHomeYear.ca, and a marketing toolkit for tourism operators.

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Why: While Newfoundlanders would probably abhor a too-clever term like “staycation,” that’s the basic concept here.

COVID-19 means there will likely be little tourism this year, which means it’s not a “come from away” or “come home” year, but a “stay home year.”

Encouraging travel and exploration among Newfoundlanders is going to be key to replacing some of that $1.5 billion in lost tourism revenue. The good news is that the province recently reached one month without a new COVID case, which makes exploring the province easier.

How: The concept of Newfoundland being “home” is central to the campaign, which was launched with a massive projection of the word “Home” on the iconic Cabot Tower atop Signal Hill in St. John’s.

Target’s marketing for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism has typically focused on the province’s natural beauty and the welcoming nature of its citizens, and that’s a building block in the new campaign. The TV spot, “Experiential,” features familiar of images of rugged coastline and St. John’s famed Jellybean Row, but the voiceover informs viewers that “this is the year to rediscover home.”

There are also three radio ads featuring Canadian actor and Newfoundlander Gordon Pinsent. In one spot, “The People,” Pinsent urges residents to stay for the ‘”innkeepers, the bartenders, the guides, the bakers and the skippers that’ll take you.”

The creative is intended to convey that “home” is more than magnificent vistas, but a “mythic place of emotion and deep longing,” says Target president Noel O’Dea.

And we quote: “It’s been said that the only unhappy people in heaven are Newfoundlanders looking for a way to get back home. Once you’ve experienced the humanity and terrible beauty of this province, you immediately understand why this is true (or, if not, it’s at least a good story about what is so very special about this place).” —Catherine Kelly, director of account management, Target.