Killer whales make a creative splash for Toronto Star, British Columbia tourism


The Toronto Star recently unveiled the start of a campaign for Destination British Columbia that is full of innovation, art, excitement, and orca whales (one of 100 BC Moments).

I chose the 100 BC Moments campaign to talk about because I think it’s a great example of innovation within traditional media in which creativity goes beyond just the ad units.

Destination BC’s agencies (Jungle Media and Dare) brought a number of ideas forward to the Star. The collaboration that followed was about how these ideas — many of which had never been done — could be brought to life and integrated into a cohesive plan, all within the client’s budget.

The result was a programme full of “firsts” for the Toronto Star, BC Tourism, and its agencies.

Leveraging the Star’s reach of the target demographic, Destination BC was able to create impact and interest through a fully integrated programme that included:

  • A series of full-colour, four-page cover wraps on the Toronto Star, launching with stunning creative of the orca whale.

  • An over-sized, custom poly-bag for targeted delivery and single copy boxes at launch; artwork looked like endless ocean, so removing the wrapped newspaper from the bag had the effect of the orca leaping out of water.

  • Sound boxes placed in more than 200 newspaper boxes around the downtown core, so readers could hear the sounds of BC orcas when they reached in for their wrapped newspapers.

  • Exclusive sponsorship of the Toronto Star tablet edition with an interactive ad unit featuring the whales.

“We love that the Star takes a traditional medium and allows us to present our message in a playful, non-traditional way,” says Carol Nelson, acting executive director of marketing for Destination BC. “The Star hits the mark on demographics and readership, but the real tipping point was their sense of innovation and willingness to go that extra step.”

The advertising execution is one part of Destination British Columbia’s 100 BC Moments campaign that will run throughout the summer. More cover wrap executions will appear throughout the month of May. The campaign has been developed by Jungle Media Vancouver and Dare Vancouver.

“Sound chips in our newspaper boxes are a first,” says Sandy Muir, vice president of advertising for the Toronto Star. “We’re excited to partner with advertisers to create innovative ways to reach readers and deliver impact.”

I have said in past posts that innovation and creativity are fueled by collaboration and partnership, and the Destination BC campaign is another great example of this.

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