2017 Winner

Tourisme Montréal



BronzeCanada 150 Strategy

With the Montréal celebrating its 375th anniversary in 2017, it’s an extra-special time to visit.

Some 80% of tourists that visit Montréal come by car from neighbouring cities like Toronto, New York City, Boston and Vermont.

Garnering attention in these markets was a challenge. The U.S. election frenzy was at its peak, the Christmas shopping season was in full swing and Canada’s 150th birthday, celebrated in Ottawa, was stepping into the spotlight.

Tourisme Montréal and Lg2 set out to cut through the noise and get the Ontario and New York markets excited about Montréal’s birthday celebrations.

Tourists already know Montréal for being a festive and vibrant city with youthful energy, nightlife, great food and culture. But one more thing they love about the city — and love to tease its residents about — is Montréaler’s over-politeness.

The team capitalized on this insight and decided that as respectful neighbours, Montréal should be celebrating its 375th birthday in classic Canadian fashion: by apologizing. In a friendly and cheeky
tone, Tourisme Montréal went all out to say “sorry” for all the noise the city would make in 2017.

The “Sorry” campaign first hit the Toronto market with wild postings, radio placements, domination of the Metro newspaper and door hangers all sported the curious message “Dear neighbour, sorry.” The tourism brand even rolled out aerial advertising to push the concept to the limits.

An online video featured Montréal ambassadors going door to door in Toronto, apologizing in advance to their neighbours for the loud festivities of Montréal’s 375th anniversary.

The ambassadors graciously distributed earmuffs and earplugs and invited Torontonians to join the party, with the bonus of complimentary airline tickets offered by Air Canada.

The campaign then moved to New York where famous Montréal-based actor William Shatner made just as big an impression. Using a humorous tone, Shatner apologized for the hubbub and invited the city’s southern neighbours to join in the celebrations.

In Toronto, Montréal received 50% more organic PR visibility versus the previous year. Engagement with video content was also two times the industry benchmark. Thanks to William Shatner, 27% of New Yorkers who were exposed to the online video watched it until the end vs. a completion rate benchmark of 15%.

Brand: Tourisme Montréal
Agency: Lg2
Marketing team: Danièle Perron, François Poulin, Bassira Côté, Aline Vinel
Strategic planning and user experience: Alexis Robin, François Royer Mireault, Geneviève Monette
VP, ECD: Marc Fortin
CDs: Marilou Aubin, Stuart Macmillan, Katherine Melançon
CWs: Marilou Aubin, Stuart Macmillan, Katherine Melançon, Jean-François Perreault
AD: Éric Bouchard
Chief of content: Joëlle Choquette, Malika Desrosiers
Group director: Audrey Lefebvre
Account director: Stéphanie Pellicer
Account coordinator: Évelyne Harnois Lebeau
Agency producer: Mélanie Bruneau
Production: Roméo & Fils
Director: Dent de cuir – Didier Charette
Media: Touché!
Media team: Martin Soubeyran, Sophie Labarre, Karine Hettel, Mélanie Baillargeon, Frederic Authier, Annie Ferrand

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Rowan Traynor at 1-416-408-2300 x213 or rtraynor@brunico.com.