Tourism BC vending machine hits San Francisco

Tourism BC kicked off its “100 BC Moments” ad campaign with an experiential stunt in San Francisco. For three days, a 14-foot high vending machine dispensed free mountain bikes, surfboards and original pieces of aboriginal art to people walking through the city’s Justin Herman Plaza. Each item was selected to inspire travel to British Columbia […]

Tourism BC kicked off its “100 BC Moments” ad campaign with an experiential stunt in San Francisco.

For three days, a 14-foot high vending machine dispensed free mountain bikes, surfboards and original pieces of aboriginal art to people walking through the city’s Justin Herman Plaza. Each item was selected to inspire travel to British Columbia and accompanied by a postcard with a 10% off discount booking code with Air Canada. Street teams distributed another 7,000 codes to passersby.

The experiential campaign and social media component was by Citizen Optimum.

Other elements of the campaign by Dare Vancouver include online banners driving consumers to the microsite, and CBS San Francisco’s  Eye on the Bay also shot three 30-minute segments on the province.

Carol Nelson, executive director of marketing, said it’s a change in direction for the tourism agency, which is now focusing on the “long haul” markets of California and Ontario, relying on regional partners such as Tourism Victoria to take the campaign messaging to other parts of B.C.

“B.C.’s tourism suppliers are really looking for us to take their messages into markets that they can’t reach by themselves, whether that’s individual ski resorts that we’ve done through ski marketing or through a spring summer campaign,” said Nelson.

The new $4 million campaign launched May 14 and will run until September. Its centre point is a microsite at 100BCMoments.com, which houses a contest offering a $20,000 personalized vacation in the province.

Nelson said the campaign builds on the creative direction of last year’s “Don’t miss a moment” campaign, and has the three-part goal to “inspire, connect and capture”– highlight experiences within the province, promote specific vacation ideas through special offers and collect e-mail addresses for future contact.

Like last year’s campaign, the target market for the campaign is a high-end traveler 35 to 60. But this year, that target probably already has an existing awareness of BC. “We want to tap into the fact that two years ago we… increased awareness through the [Winter Olympic Games] in terms of these longer haul markets,” Nelson said. “The reason we launched the Moments Machine in San Francisco is because it’s an opportunity for us to reach a market that has existing awareness, but we have further to go to inspire them than we do, say, in Toronto.”

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