The Municipality of Central Huron has partnered with Winged Whale Media to create a series of videos, including 15-second advertisements and longer flagship videos, for a promotional campaign in Summer 2022. We are marketing Central Huron as “Your Weekend Destination,” with a larger goal of showcasing Central Huron as a good place to play, live and work. We highlighted activities, as well as businesses. Our approach targeted a wide range of demographics, as reflected through storyboarding, themes and the variety of actors. Some of the videos have a family focus, while others show couples or friends having fun.
We started “Tourism Central Huron” Facebook and Instagram accounts, where videos and photos from filming are being posted. We set goals for followers and engagement, but the true metric was how many people visited the new Tourism Central Huron website to download the visitor guide, demonstrating real interest in visiting.
The campaign had already exceeded its goals within the first month. In June, the website received 412 unique visitors and 202 of them downloaded the visitor guide. Our goal had been 200 unique visitors per month and 60 guide downloads for the whole three month period! For a municipality of Central Huron’s size, these numbers are exceptional.
We have strong followings of local residents across municipality social media, but we wanted to get content in front of people from nearby cities. Of the visitor guide downloads, 28 were from the GTA, 30 from Toronto, and 22 from other nearby cities like London, Hamilton, Kitchener and Waterloo. Once again, our goal had been accomplished within the first month already. The campaign continues until the end of August, when the municipality will take over the accounts. The longer videos have yet to be published.
One challenge was a factor that made the campaign even more important. From June to November of 2021, our town’s main street was closed for a massive reconstruction. Limited business access added to existing stress from the pandemic. Increasing tourism was necessary to help businesses recover from several challenging years. Construction also meant we were unable to film our main street. We altered our plans and Winged Whale returned for a final day of filming in June 2022 to capture our beautiful new street.
A key element of the campaign was also to re-engage people in their community post-pandemic. Many residents aren’t aware of what their community offers. We invited people to feature in the videos for free experiences or gift cards to local businesses. Excited about their participation, our volunteers shared the videos and their experiences with others to promote the municipality’s assets organically.
As for sustainability, we highlighted the municipality’s natural wonders to encourage tourism in harmony with the natural landscape. We filmed at Hullett Marsh Provincial Wildlife Area, a 5420-acre wetland area, and Balls Bridge and Falls Reserve Conservation Area, two points of interest on the Maitland River. By highlighting these natural wonders, we recognize their value and encourage future conservation efforts.
Playlist of all currently posted videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLt0jlkPA9VY0ssoSOUejEqom/
Vimeo links for the (as of yet) unpublished flagship videos: