The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on Vaughan businesses. To assist in the maintenance and recovery of the local economy, the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce (VCC), in partnership with the Tourism Vaughan Corporation (TVC), executed a hyperlocal marketing campaign between September 2021 – February 2022, named Support Vaughan Local. The objectives were to:
Over 80 businesses signed up to participate in Support Vaughan Local, across all five of Vaughan’s communities. Businesses who opted into additional marketing opportunities had the chance to participate in online editorials that lived on supportvaughanlocal.ca, to be featured on social media, out-of-home marketing, and videos for each of the six categories. Of these opportunities, there were successful results:
Lastly, to inspire pride-of-place and ‘community’ while promoting the campaign, all participating businesses were provided with a digital toolkit, as well as physical branded items such as pens, notepads, stickers, cooler bags, flags and window decals.
The target audience for this campaign was local residents of Vaughan and its neighbouring communities within the Greater Toronto Area. These are the individuals in the best position to showcase the local businesses that should be recommended to their neighbours. This target audience was key to preventing retail leakage, and promoting a supportive culture among Vaughan residents that could continue post-pandemic.
To engage this audience, residents of Vaughan were encouraged to share their favourite local businesses using #SupportVaughanLocal, for a chance to win one of 10 prizes valued between $250-$500. Over 200 #SupportVaughanLocal posts were made by residents and local business owners. The online gallery, made up of user-generated content with #SupportVaughanLocal, was viewed over 800 times.
During the campaign, additional restrictions were put into place by public health and safety to minimize the risk of COVID-19. These closures temporarily stalled the project, but allowed the team to extend the duration of the campaign into March and motivated both VCC and TVC to create a step-by-step brochure guide on ways to support Vaughan businesses during the lockdown, which was direct mailed to over 30,000 Vaughan homes.
For branding sustainability, this campaign had a unique icon created that blended the colours, fonts and stylings of both the VCC and TVC. The purpose of this was to maintain familiarity among the business and entrepreneurship community. All creative assets are evergreen, which allows both VCC and TVC to repurpose the content instantly, should the environment necessitate it.