2022 Winner

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

Come Home 2022


GoldNiche Strategy

Outmigration is a fact of life in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). For decades, hundreds of people have left each year in search of jobs, settling throughout the country.

In 2021, the provincial government announced that 2022 would be ‘Come Home’ year. A year-long celebration of festivals, events, and community gatherings. The intent was two-fold: 1) help buoy a struggling tourism industry given the devastating impacts of the pandemic, and 2) create a much-needed
sense of optimism for the future.

Their objective was straightforward: Persuade expatriates to travel to NL in 2022. But it wouldn’t be easy. Their niche audience— Newfoundlanders and Labradorians now living elsewhere — was scattered throughout Canada. Sure, there were a few geographic pockets. But finding the rest would be like needles in a haystack. And no targeting criteria exists to filter by ‘former residences of a province.’

Blanketing the country with a national campaign was off the table, due to budgetary restrictions. Plus, they were competing for their vacation days. That meant going head-to-head with destination marketing from places like Nova Scotia and their $8M budget. Ontario at $16M. And BC at $32M.

They knew their audience would be receptive to their message. But how do they get it to them?

Their niche target doesn’t all live in the same condo in Toronto. They don’t all go to the same places, watch the same shows, or read the same papers. They’re spread out across the whole country. But the one place you can find every NL Expat is in the social media networks of their friends and family back home.

A national campaign on their budget would be a whisper. But they did have enough for a strong voice at home. And there’s nowhere with a stronger pride of place than Newfoundland and Labrador. If they could light up local social media with Come Home 2022 content, they could turn the 500,000 residents of Newfoundland and Labrador into 500,000 media outlets broadcasting directly to their niche audience.

Home means something different to everyone, but to everyone here, it sure does mean a lot. For some, it’s the land they love. For others, it’s tradition. Maybe it’s the smell of Nan and Poppy’s kitchen, of toutons frying in butter. Their idea was to explore everything that makes NL home – the land, the wildlife, the food, the people, and the unique culture. In doing so, they would bring to life the emotional connection of home.

This idea informed their creative approach, and the Come Home 2022 content was strategically built for engagement. Because every time they liked, commented, posted, shared, or tagged, they reached the
expats in their social feed.

To inspire and encourage residents, they launched the campaign with A Song Called Home, an emotive video that pulled at the heartstrings of locals, and encouraged them to send that first message to expat friends
and family simply by tagging.

Social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok) took the lead. Channel-specific posts were developed to inspire, engage, and interact with residents – ultimately passing the baton back to them
for content generation about home.

Weekly creative themes brought their favourite foods, songs, phrases, and places to life. And as organic content was created by residents, they used paid media to boost posts, creating a feedback loop that encouraged even more engagement.

Residents further piqued interest of expats using fun “Come Home 2022” profile photos, Giphy stickers, and virtual backgrounds for video calls. And with their e-Card builder, residents personalized digital postcards to invite everyone home. Finally, they tapped into the influence of well-known provincial ambassadors to amplify the invitation across Canada.

Engaging 500,000 residents as passionate brand ambassadors on social media, and having them fill their feeds with highly nostalgic Come Home 2022 content, enabled them to effectively reach their target audience of expat friends and family. In true NL fashion, everyone got on board – from the ever-persuasive ‘nan and pop’ network to a few more well-known Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

The campaign delivered a walloping 10.4M media impressions, with 2.1M views of the eCard builder. Plus, ‘A Song Called Come Home’ generated 165,000+ views. Social media amassed 250,000+ engagements. Most importantly, expats have already started to come home! Ferry bookings aboard Marine Atlantic are up 16% versus 2019, demonstrating the power of the campaign.

It goes to show, in today’s media environment, the power of social sharing is everything.

Creative Director: TJ Arch
Associate Creative Director: Jennifer Szilagyi
Art Director: Jennifer Szilagyi
Digital Art Director: Amanda Blackwood
Writer: TJ Arch, Joel Felker, Justina Elias
Senior Developer: Tim Carew
Designer: Luisa Bojaca, Pierre Tabbiner, Joel Arbez
Director of Account Management: Catherine Kelly
Account Director: Ernie Brake
Senior Account Manager: Alaina Collins
Account Manager: Allison Daley
Strategic Planner: Noel O’Dea
Production Manager: Vivian Tulk
Director of Communications and Media Planning: Jef Combdon
Media Planner / Buyer: Kelly Reddigan
Digital Media Planner: Ryan Locke
Social Media Specialist: Anna Swain

For submission inquiries, please contact Clare O'Brien at cobrien@brunico.com.
For partnership inquiries, please contact Neil Ewen at newen@brunico.com.