2007 01 28
Promoting Toronto To U.S. Audiences: The Challenge.
"Tonight I'm not Susan, call me Antoinette."
"Do you think I need a breast reduction?"
Toronto's press has come together to resoundingly pan the latest "T.O. Live with Culture" campaign that tries to promote the city to our southern neighbours (CTV, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star).
Here are some quotes:
Toronto's Live with Culture promotion program is where the off-beat campaign started. With a little money left over in the budget, program manager Gregory Nixon decided to find a new approach to attracting American tourists.
Research consistently shows that Toronto's image is fusty, he said. "People thought Toronto was clean and safe but not particularly sexy. It didn't have much of an edge about it. It was kind of a lukewarm response. And that's not really going to get people driving across the border.
Gregory Nixon, project manager for TO Live with Culture, defended the campaign as "a direct response to a long history of marketing Toronto in very unimaginative ways." While he conceded the ads do not truly reflect Toronto, Mr. Nixon said that wasn't really the point.
I don't understand the ads on a number of levels. Rather than holding the city up as a hip, exciting place to visit, they seem more a parody of Toronto. "That's what Torontonians think is edgy?" we can hear people asking, "what a lame place." Check out the cat in the first ad. I swear that it looks embarrassed if not horrified.
The ads certainly don't represent the Toronto I know and love -- the one that offers virtually limitless variations of themes and interests and is more than enough for any visitor.
We've just finished our TTC website challenge to Adam Giambrone. Maybe it's time to have an "Advertising Toronto Challenge." Are you ready?
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 01/28 at 03:36 PM
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