Interactive Twitter Based Murals

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Digital and Twitter have combined to take travellers’ ‘real time’ experiences and conversations in Canada to the streets of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles through a campaign by DDB Canada for the Canadian Tourism Commission.

The CTC recently unveiled digital storescapes that harness the power of Twitter to display what’s currently being talked about and photographed in Canada to inspire Americans to book a Canadian vacation. The aggregated content includes online conversations, images and videos.

“The multitude of photos and conversations taking place online about Canadian vacation destinations is amazing,” says Siobhan Chretien, executive director Americas marketing at the CTC. “We wanted to create an innovative way to use this ongoing stream of content to generate awareness of the breadth and depth of experiences available in Canada in these key U.S. markets.”

The digital storescapes build on the success of the CTC’s comprehensive social media strategy and use of user-generated content in their traditional advertising.

“With the proliferation of social media, people like to share what’s happening in their lives immediately,” says Cosmo Campbell, creative director, DDB Canada, Vancouver. “What better way to showcase all the amazing experiences that are happening in Canada right now, than through an interactive billboard that aggregates those memorable moments captured by travellers in real time. The unexpected nature of the experiences that are being uploaded will surprise passersby and change their perception of Canada.”

In appearance, the art direction evokes an online cloud. Images and tweets of Canada appear across the vinyl and this is mimicked on the digital part of the screen, which is interactive.

The storescapes include 8’ x 10’ monitors featuring a continuous stream of ‘tweeted’ photos and conversations based on specific search terms of Canadian cities, events and more. Both travellers in Canada and Americans at home are encouraged to tweet and take part in these live billboards and join the ‘now’ conversation about Canada. The consumer who engages the screen can touch images and read the associated tweet.

Americans can also win a trip to a Canadian destination of their choice by following @keep_exploring on Twitter and @ reply with their favorite Canadian destination. Street teams, equipped with iPads, are on site to encourage passersby to interact with the board and help them participate in the contest, should they not have a Twitter account.

“Not only is the contest simple and attractive, but it also captures important, real-time data of where Americans want to vacation in Canada,” says Chretien.

The storescapes, available until the end of July, are at:

  • 750 7th Avenue, New York (at West 49th);
  • 366 8th Avenue, New York (at West 28th);
  • 150 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago (between Randolf St and E Lake St);
  • The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles.

The storescapes are part of a broader campaign, which targets Americans to travel to Canada this summer. Supporting campaign elements include TV and online broadcast spots, online advertising, social media and print.

A large team at DDB, the CTC’s agency-of-record, put the campaign together under Campbell and Dean Lee, creative directors, and Josh Fehr, digital creative director.

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