Option 3

A Sense of Place

An ad you see on TV or the Internet is basically asking you to do one of four things

1. Buy something or shop somewhere (brand, sales, promotions)

2. Give to something (charities, causes)

3. Do something that has nothing to do with money (behaviour change)

4. Go somewhere to visit or explore (tourism, place branding, amusement parks, etc.)

Today I’d like to talk about #4: Getting people to go somewhere. It’s one of the hardest but most rewarding things you can do in advertising. You’re asking people to convince their partners/friends/families to take days/weeks out of their schedules to spend significant sums of money in a place, that in many cases, they’ve never been before. They are physically and emotionally going into unfamiliar territory. And often, they don’t even speak the language. A fairly monumental task, that makes selling a car seem relatively easy, doesn’t it?

Doing this, requires one to take the following steps:

1. Capture an authentic sense of the place, without just listing facts or describing it.

2. Connect to an unmet yearning or desire.

3. Catch the right people in the right mood.

When a tourism or destination branding campaign really works, it taps into a deep part of your psyche, and transports you there. The physical place and the psycho-spiritual ‘place’ merge into one experience. And that’s how powerful it needs to be in order to get you to spend thousands of dollars and haul your family to a far-flung location.

So now, have a look at these campaigns and let me know if they fit the criteria.


Nova Scotia- Take Yourself There

British Columbia – The Wild Within

Newfoundland-Labrador – ’09 ‘Vikings’ spot

Go RVing – not a place branding campaign, but it has similar qualities.