2017 is a significant year in Canada’s history. July 1 marked the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the day Canada became its own country. Sure, the land and our history existed well before that time, but this was still a time to celebrate our amazing country!

It was also a time to tap into our creative juices and come up with some innovative ideas to help Canadian businesses promote their products and services during this important year-long celebration.

The Family Fun Guide offered value for readers and advertisers.
The Family Fun Guide offered value for readers and advertisers.

With a heightened focus on Canada as a travel destination for 2017 (it was ranked No. 1 on The New York Times list of top 2017 travel destinations), many businesses were keen to have high visibility in the marketplace to capitalise on this special occasion.

One of the ideas we launched was the Toronto Star Family Fun Guide, a listing of things to do in Ontario during the summer of 2017. The 64-page guide was full of advertiser profiles and special money-saving coupons. It also contained educational fun facts about Canada and puzzles for families to enjoy. The objective was to make the guide a multi-purpose “keeper” — a resource you would use over and over again during the summer months.

To make sure the guide reached the target audience (families with kids) we offered free copies to schools across Ontario to share with parents. We also inserted free copies to a targeted segment of our subscribers. The guide was available at local libraries. In total, 100,000 copies were distributed, plus advertisers had their special coupon offers featured in the Toronto Star.

This profitable campaign attracted several advertisers that don’t typically spend money with our newspaper. It’s another example of how appealing targeted niche publications are, and, if you build them right, clients will come.