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Gov. Scott Helps VISIT FLORIDA & Partners Launch Canada Campaign

By on November 10th, 2017 — 12:32pm

A55I5749Last week, VISIT FLORIDA launched its Canada Takeover winter marketing campaign to attract Canadian visitors to Florida. The campaign kicked off with “Florida Day” in Toronto that saw Governor Rick Scott and Consul General of Canada Susan Harper, along with five of VISIT FLORIDA’s Industry Partners, host consumer-engagement activations, a media reception and a press conference.

The day began with the Partner activations at Union Station, Canada’s busiest commuter station with more than 250,000 visitors each day, starting in time for the rush hour morning commute and going throughout the entire day. For the activations, each Partner created an interactive experience around sharing and enjoying “Moments of Sunshine” unique to each destination.

The Visit Pensacola activation featured two stationary beach bikes, wrapped in the Blue Angels colors, situated in front of a beach backdrop to give the illusion of riding bikes on the beaches of Pensacola. When consumers pedaled on the bikes to have their photos taken, bubbles blew out, adding to the whimsical atmosphere. Consumers also received inflatable beach balls as giveaways from Visit Pensacola.

Since the destination is world-renowned for its shelling, the Beaches of Ft. Myers and Sanibel activation revolved around taking a “shellfie.” Mosaics made from authentic seashells sourced directly from the destination were situated in front of a beach scene to provide consumers with the perfect backdrop to take a selfie. The experience was complimented with seashell necklaces as giveaways.

The Ocala/Marion County activation demonstrated a classic activity the destination is famous for – glass-bottom tours over the clear waters of Silver Springs. Featuring a real glass-bottom kayak, consumers took turns putting on a life vest, grabbing a paddle and sitting in the kayak for a photo opportunity. When they looked through the glass bottom, digital screens displayed video shot at Silver Springs of water flowing and fish swimming under the kayak.

The Treasure Coast activation featured Indian River County, St. Lucie County and Martin County which make up the area. Situated in front of a beach backdrop were three surfbaords connected by a treasure map of the three counties and a gold overlay saying “Treasure Every Moment.” For this activation, consumers were drawn in with bottles of Natalie’s Orange Juice, which is manufactured in the Treasure Coast region.

Canada postcard wallFinally, the VISIT FLORIDA and Dollar Rental Car activation presented an interactive postcard wall that doubled as an engagement for consumers as well as a backdrop for Governor Scott’s press conference. The wall featured 10,000 post cards with 24 different images from destinations around the state. On the back of each card are descriptions of the featured destination, as well as a 20% off discount code for Dollar car rentals in Florida. In the morning, the space provided a backdrop for Governor Scott to host a press conference announcing the new Canada “Power Play” deal program that is a part of the Takeover campaign.

Also that morning, VISIT FLORIDA hosted a media reception for more than 60 Canadian travel journalists and 11 Industry Partners. This reception allowed Partners the opportunity to meet, network with and pitch to the targeted group of media. This face-to-face interaction allows us to build relationships with media and garner more coverage for Florida’s unique destinations. Attendees were encouraged to take and share photos socially using #LoveFL. The buzz generated from these events led to #LoveFL trending on Twitter in Toronto. During the reception, Governor Scott and VISIT FLORIDA’s President & CEO Ken Lawson welcomed  attendees, provided details on the “Power Play” deals program and the overall Canada Takeover campaign.

The Canada “Power Play” program aims to attract more visitors by making it more affordable for Canadians to travel to the state. VISIT FLORIDA is aggregating partner deals exclusive to Canadians of at least 20% off on a new landing page found at LoveFlorida.ca. The program currently includes deals on flights, car rentals, hotels and attractions, with 26 Industry Partners already involved. Additional Partners are still encouraged to participate. Simply click here for more information and to submit your deal.

“Florida Day” and the Canada “Power Play” program announcement quickly garnered coverage on news stations, newspapers and websites across Canada and the U.S. that has resulted in 22.8 million impressions to date. A sampling of the coverage featured on Canada’s Weather Network can be seen here.

Elements of the Canada winter campaign are continuing through the end of December, and include wall murals and digital columns in Union Station, digital billboards and towers in Yonge-Dundas Square (similar to New York’s Times Square) and the underground transit networks in Toronto and Montreal, partnership programs with The Weather Network, Air Canada Vacations and Expedia, and a paid social push on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

While Canada remains Florida’s number one source of international visitors, with more than 3.3 million Canadians visiting the Sunshine State last year, we have seen a decline from the 4.1 million Canadians Florida welcomed in 2013. With forty percent of Florida’s Canadian visitors traveling in the winter months of January to March, November is an important planning month for potential visitors. Our Canada Takeover campaign is allowing us to highlight Florida’s “Moments of Sunshine” as many Canadians are actively making their upcoming travel plans.


Summer Gonzalez
Marketing Campaign Manager
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