2018 Winner

Tourisme Montréal

I've Changed


SilverCreative Catalyst

SilverNiche Strategy

Following Montréal's busy 375th anniversary celebrations, Tourisme Montréal foresaw a decrease in hotel bookings for the 2018 winter season. The organization, whose members are
largely comprised of hotels, needed to quickly find a way to generate positive top-of-mind awareness for Montreal in order to stimulate hotel reservations.

To reach this objective, the best option was undoubtedly to target low hanging fruit: Montréal’s close neighbour Québec City, whose inhabitants are within an easy driving distance and not afraid of a winter commute. The strategy seemed like the best way to effectively increase Tourisme Montréal's performance during winter's low season, but there was one small problem: most Québec City residents don't really like Montréal. In fact, many of them have a grudge against the metropolis and nourish a long-lasting love-hate relationship for the big city where traffic is an everlasting pain, construction sites and potholes are just part of the decor, attractions are located in busy streets and parking can never be found. Montréal’s neighbours don't really want to visit, because they think they know the city inside-out, having known it for so long. They love to hate it, but deep down, they know there was once love there.

Just like an old flame, Québec City needed to be re-conquered and made to fall in love all over again. The idea was to declare Montréal's love for Québec City with a geo-targeted campaign where Montréal takes the form of a person who endeavours to win back the heart of their lover by claiming “I've changed.” With a touch of humour and love added in, the city proclaimed loud and clear that it had changed, flaunting all the new features and attractions developed for Montreal’s 375th anniversary.

For the message to hit the spot, it needed to be unique and personalized for the target market. It was “just for you, Québec City” because Montréal went all out to rekindle the flame. The geo-targeted integrated campaign was rolled out via impactful media such as billboards, newspapers, television and radio. To invite Québec City residents to (re)discover Montréal in all its renewed glory, 100,000 letters were sent to their homes. Montréal wanted to win them back and that the city had installed more street art to charm them. The city also opened new restaurants to win “her” heart through her stomach, dedicated songs to “her” on the radio, and said it was about time to see each other again “because so much water had flowed under the bridge” – a new interactive illuminated bridge, that is. Montréal even said “we built a Ferris wheel by the river, hoping to get as high as possible to see you again, Québec City.”

Montréal’s new attractions were highlighted through video messages that, like the other components of the campaign, were personalized for Québec City. Gastronomy and cultural versions were also deployed online. All efforts were made to leverage Québec City’s highly
self-centered media ecosystem, including Tourisme Montréal's PR efforts: a box of surprises destined for Québec City's leading journalists.

While a decrease in hotel bookings was expected for the first quarter of 2018, the campaign accounted for an increase of over 4%. With more than 4 million impressions, over 1 million video views, billboards all over the city and more than 100,000 personalized messages in Québec City homes, the campaign became the talk of the town and doubled its value thanks to positive press coverage. It created a reputation gain worth over $340,000, to contribute to a 74% increase for the first quarter of the season. It generated 138 articles in the press, including top-tier media like CBC/Radio Canada, La Presse, Le Soleil, TVA and Le Journal de Montréal, and contributed to a 34% increase in visits to the destination website. Quebéc City heard the message loud and clear and answered the call... literally. Quebéc City Tourism even posted a witty response on social media, saying it was waiting halfway between Montréal and Québec City. Almost like jealous suitors, other cities joined the movement, which allowed the campaign to gain more mileage across the province. Montréal was on everyone's lips during a key period. The campaign got people talking and moving... in Montréal’s direction.

Client: Tourisme Montréal
Agency: lg2
Partner, Vice-President, Executive Creative Director: Marc Fortin
Creative Director: Marilou Aubin
Art Director: Jean-Christophe Laniel
Copywriter: Pierre-Luc Loranger, Nicolas Labbé
Strategic Planner: Sabrina Côté
Associée, vice-présidente exécutive: Julie Dubé
Account Director: Stéphanie Pellicer
Account Manager: Évelyne Harnois-Lebeau
Producer: Nancy McDonald
Production House: 1one Production
Post-Production House: BLVD
Editor: Jean-Philippe Granger
Project Manager, Production: Mélanie Thérien, Marie-Élisabeth Fouquet-Bouchard
Media: Touché! – Martin Soubeyran, Paul Rousseau, Tatjana Adzic, Amy Delafontaine

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