Tourisme Montréal shifting to 100% Web-based advertising



    MONTREAL, April 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Tourisme Montréal once again innovates
this spring with a shift to 100% Web-based advertising to reach leisure
markets and ensure enhanced influence for Montréal in travel and tourism
circles. Indeed, the promotional organization which inaugurated the new
Tourisme Montréal website in May 2008 recently launched an entirely Web-based
promotional offensive designed to respond to changing consumer consumption
trends.
    Gradually introduced in recent years, the shift to Web-based advertising
by our promotional organization has proven tremendously successful when one
looks at results obtained to date in terms of campaign performance and
increased website traffic.
    The threefold aim of this new campaign, developed in cooperation with the
advertising agencies Sid Lee and Cossette Media, is to enhance Montréal's
notoriety as an urban destination ideal for short-term getaways, to persuade
consumers to travel to Montréal by showcasing our Sweet Deal (3rd night at
half price), and to assist potential visitors in planning their stay in our
midst. The Web-based format enables Tourisme Montréal to achieve each of these
three goals through banners present on travel and lifestyle sites, and a Web
2.0 strategy dubbed 'Get the local buzz from Montréal Insiders'. The latter
features five Montréal insiders whose mission it is to portray their
individual passions for arts and culture, epicurean life, gay life, nightlife
and girls' getaways. This campaign is aimed specifically at leisure markets in
Ontario and the United States.
    "Given challenging economic conditions worldwide, we, like many other
organizations, have had to revisit our budget and cut back on various
expenses, including those relating to print campaigns," stated Charles
Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal.
"However, our repositioning is also rooted in changing consumer trends.
Indeed, travellers today are increasingly inclined to select their future
travel destination on the Web as they are able to preview what they are likely
to encounter upon arrival. By relying on the latest technology and shifting to
100% Web-based advertising, Tourisme Montréal can, as opposed to more
traditional style advertising, accurately assess campaign impact with target
audiences and maximize investments in this regard," Mr Lapointe went on to
explain.
    This new approach is designed to support the strategy instituted in
recent years by our promotional organization, a strategy which targets all
points of contact on the Web while remaining true to ourselves, presenting
target audiences with a wealth of content tailored specifically to their
interests, and providing browsers with a tangible experience intended to set
Montréal apart from rivals.
    The rethinking of the Tourisme Montréal website in May 2008 and
implementation in 2005 of a tool designed to provide for an exhaustive watch
of all Web-based information relating to Montréal together bode well for the
success of the current campaign.
    In December 2008, the Tourisme Montréal website won the 2008 Boomerang
Grand Prize in the interactive marketing category, as well as the Grand Prize
in the promotional site category. Then on 8 April 2009, Tourisme Montréal was
awarded the Créa Grand Prize in the promotional website category. Créa is a
contest which endeavours to underscore and promote excellence in advertising
creation in Québec.

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    About Tourisme Montréal

    Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the
concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the
destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for
developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing
conditions of the market.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    
    Backgrounder 1: Why the shift to 100% Web-based advertising?
    --------------

    In May 2008, Tourisme Montréal unveiled its new Web platform intended to
provide a more tangible tourism experience and to enhance the positioning of
Montréal as a destination based on various target markets. Designed to be user
friendly, provide for interaction with various target markets (an initial Web
2.0 approach) and spur onsite consumer buying decisions, the new site enables
browsers to enhance content by commenting on the information made available to
them and sharing their overall impressions.
    To date, comments have proven extremely positive and the promotional
organization, one of whose principal challenges for 2009 was to enhance the
wealth and variety of content on their site and on other travel sites, is well
poised to meet their objectives with the launch of a new, 100% Web-based
advertising campaign. This bold, novel initiative was developed to respond to
needs specific to the tourist constituency while allowing for budget cuts that
Tourisme Montréal and other organizations have had to make given prevailing
economic conditions.
    This shift to Web-based advertising, initiated three years ago by Tourisme
Montréal for markets in North America, the United Kingdom, France and Mexico
(in cooperation with Tourisme Québec for the latter two destinations) has
already generated excellent results. Tourisme Montréal therefore intends to
pursue its current strategy with markets in Europe and Mexico, while ensuring
full deployment in North America to target markets in the United Stated and
Ontario specifically. This 100% Web-based strategy will be implemented through
the use of notoriety banners posted on lifestyle and travel sites, direct
response Sweet Deal promotional banners (3rd night free) and blogs ('Get the
buzz from Montréal Insiders' campaign) on the Tourisme Montréal site, as well
as through various forums, social networks and community sites. The entirety
of means deployed will make it possible to provide consumers with content on a
number of different websites, while attracting browsers to the Tourisme
Montréal website where they will be able to plan the details of their trip.
    In the United States, over 80% of Americans use the Internet to select
their future travel destinations, while at home in Canada, 70% of Canadians do
likewise.(*) Overseas, recent studies in France indicate that 65%(xx) of
consumers glean travel information from the Internet and that 23% make
exclusive use of the Internet to plan and book travel. In the United Kingdom,
Internet impacts 90% of undecided individuals, while 24% book travel
online(xxx). What is more, consumers increasingly want to see and learn more
about a product before deciding to purchase. The Web 2.0 format makes it
possible to fulfil expectations in this regard as consumers are able to:

    - consult blogs and share experiences with other travellers (60%
      regularly read comments by others);
    - view destination video clips;
    - find all requisite information quickly and book travel immediately
      (over 50% admit being influenced by the information found on the
      various websites when the time comes to choose a destination).(*)

    Our new 100% Web-based advertising approach will enable Tourisme Montréal
to maximize media investments while minimizing production budgets.

    Sources

    (*) SIMM 2007
    (xx) Forrester (Year 2008)
    (xxx) PhoCusWright 2008

    Backgrounder 2: The 'Get the local buzz from Montréal Insiders' campaign
    --------------

    The object of the 'Get the local buzz from Montréal Insiders' campaign is
to convince undecided tourists that Montréal should be their next holiday
destination. Focusing on destination notoriety, the campaign seeks to provide
potential visitors with the true face of Montréal: A thriving, passionate,
effervescent city with a wealth of cultural and epicurean options. The Web 2.0
thrust, aimed primarily at leisure markets in Ontario and the United States,
features five Montréal insiders whose mission is to share with
browsers-through a blog hosted on the Tourisme Montréal website-their passion
for their individual areas of interest, each of which are powerful tourist
drawing cards:

    - Arts and Culture
    - Epicurean Life
    - Nightlife
    - Girls' Getaways
    - Gay Life

    In addition to their mission to feed their respective columns with three
editorials a week, the insiders must also participate actively in the blogs
and forums of the various lifestyle and travel sites to ensure a presence on
social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.
    Recruitment of the five insiders began two months ago. Selection criteria
were established based on campaign objectives and candidate profiles had to be
consistent with the following:

    - each had to be a Montrealer;
    - each had to have a thorough knowledge of Montréal, especially in their
      specific area of interest;
    - each had to have an excellent knowledge of the Web and social networks,
      and be a member of one or more such networks. The Selection Committee
      was therefore able to ensure that candidates embraced the Web 2.0
      values of transparency, humility, honesty, authenticity, innovation,
      listening and credibility.
    - each had to be entrepreneurial by nature with demonstrated skill in
      creating content and generating browser interest;
    - each had to demonstrate excellent English-language writing skills given
      that the campaign targets markets in Ontario and the US. Each also had
      to be a top notch communicator.

    In addition, the five candidates who successfully emerged from the
rigorous selection process had to be representative of the city's underlying
multicultural fabric.

    Arts and Culture: Daviel Lazure Vieira

    Profile: Writer, critic, columnist and editor for various newspapers and
    magazines, including EnRoute and Urbania. Also a contributor for CBC
    radio.

    His vision of arts and culture... à la Montréal:
    -----------------------------------------------

    "A mix of many cultures: a strong French heritage, Anglo-Saxon roots, and
influences from everywhere. We are proud of our Latin character, but very open
to the world. Montréal is an experimental city. Nothing is set in stone here,
everything is in constant flux. Plus, art is accessible here, it is not
overwhelmed by large institutions."

    Epicurean Life: Katerine Rollet

    Profile: Fifteen years as an actress.

    Her vision of epicurean life... à la Montréal:
    ---------------------------------------------

    "Eating well at reasonable prices, anywhere in town. In Montréal, good
food is really accessible, and the quality of our local produce is
outstanding! We have the great French cooking heritage, but we have put a
laid-back spin on it. Plus it's about knowing that even at -30ºC, you can step
out to your favourite local bistro and it will be full of people. That just
makes you forget all about the weather."

    Gay Life: Daniel Baylis

    Profile: Bachelor of Arts with a major in Human Relations. Blogger,
    translator, print journalist and columnist.

    His vision of gay life... à la Montréal :
    ---------------------------------------

    "It means 'in style'. There is a certain romanticism about this city which
is not found anywhere else. A crossroads between European and American
influences. It is so easy to be who you want to be here, whether you are
straight, gay or somewhere in between. We enjoy a general climate of
acceptance."

    Nightlife: Brendan Murphy

    Profile: Undergraduate degree in English literature and creative writing,
    finishing a graduate degree in journalism. Ten years of experience as a
    music columnist and reviewer in print and on the Web.

    His vision of nightlife... à la Montréal:
    ----------------------------------------

    "It is one of the best cities in the world for music. I am a social person
and that is great because Montrealers love to go out and have fun. The city is
relaxed, but there is a lot going on. Montréal is a big city which behaves
like a small town, or maybe it's the reverse!"

    Girls' Getaway: Tamy Emma Pepin

    Profile: Undergraduate degree in cultural studies and broadcast
    journalism. Print journalist and television and WebTV hostess for various
    public affairs programs.

    Her vision of girls' getaway... à la Montréal:
    ---------------------------------------------

    "It is the people who make Montréal what it is. The experience here is all
about the welcome, the diversity, the mix of cultures. Montréal is a warm
city, but never overwhelming."

    To monitor the quality of the information being broadcast, ambassador
content is subject to approval by the Sid Lee agency, and columns are analysed
by the Communications and Advertising Department of Tourisme Montréal once
they have been posted online.
    




For further information:

For further information: Pierre Bellerose, Vice President, Public
Relations, Product Research and Development, Tourisme Montréal, (514)
844-2404, bellerose.pierre@tourisme-montreal.org


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