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Canada’s Brand and Destination

May 16th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Destination Marketing

Being so close to the Canadian border, it’s natural to keep an eye on our neighbors to the North. As both a feeder market and direct competitor, it’s crucial for us destination marketers to stay up on the latest happenings there. Well, they’re up to something.

Here’s a little presser regarding their current branding effort:

Like The Girl Next Door, Canada Is Tired of Being Taken for Granted

New Campaign Embarks on a Brand Walk on the Wild Side and Focuses on Intriguing Experiences

Canada, the world’s second largest country and number one “foreign” destination for Americans, is tired of hearing that it’s too nice, too pretty, too pristine and too safe, let alone too similar to the U.S.A. Yes she is home to the Mounties, moose and maple syrup, but when you get to know her, Canada also has an urban edge and wild side that is the envy of destinations around the world.

Canada’s new personality and make-over focuses on personalized exploration, sophisticated adventures and true intriguing experiences on the wild side, both urban and outdoors. The campaign encourages travelers to “Keep Exploring” and to define Canada on their terms.

Swim with Beluga whales in Manitoba; take your spa treatment to new heights by catching a helicopter ride to a five-star luxury outpost; engage in gastronomic journeys on Vancouver Island where pan seared scallops mingle with campfire roasted marshmallows; go “nose to nose” with a polar bear to find out if they really have fish breath; take a ride up the Yukon River with Canada’s original explorers, the indigenous Inuit; or take a private yacht to heli-ski on slopes where lift lines don’t exist. Of course there is always mining for conflict-free diamonds under the aurora borealis, digging for dinosaur bones and the giddy-up of North America’s largest rodeo in Calgary, the hot and wild clubs of Montreal and culinary delights of Quebec.

The new campaign is progressive, vibrant and while it focuses on the natural landscape as a canvas for vacationers to explore, it introduces the destination as a hands-on experience that can be personalized based on how people live, work and play in today’s high stressed world.

Created by DDB Toronto under the auspices of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), the campaign is designed to ignite the imagination of the curious traveler and this month started to roll-out in magazines, newspapers, commuter rail stations and key influentials, such as fitness enthusiasts.

The campaign retains the tagline “Keep Exploring” because it so accurately captures the essence of travel that brings generations of visitors to the country year after year. The new campaign will also focus on key feeder markets including Boston, New York and Los Angeles.

The CTC is a national marketing organization. Our vision is compelling the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and all levels of government, we: advertise and market Canada in 10 countries around the world; conduct industry research and studies and promote product and industry development. For travel information, media resources, meetings and conference planning details, research and news or to create extra-ordinary stories all your own, visit

Sound like a reasonable and likely effective plan. Sad thing for me is knowing that we have no such counterpart here in the USA for tourism.

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