'GREAT Britain' comes to Toronto

In Britain's banner year, ad blitz promotes heritage, culture and countryside in major commuter routes

(Embargoed until 8:30am on 15 February 2012)

TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, VisitBritain launches its largest ever image campaign(1) in Canada. The advertising offensive includes prominent artwork displays at Union Station, Yonge & Bloor TTC station, along the Gardiner Expressway, at Yonge & Dundas Square and throughout the downtown core, reaching millions of travelling consumers in a key market.

"With the eyes of the world focused on the UK this year, we want to ensure that they see what it is that is so special about this GREAT country of ours," said British Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt. "This year will see a year of festivities taking place, with global reach possible on a level never seen before for British tourism. As we come together to witness an extraordinary celebration of culture, heritage and sporting achievement, there is no better time for us to showcase all the wonderful attractions that we have on offer and entice as many people as possible around the world to come and share it with us."

"Canada is a vitally important market for Britain's tourism industry," said Karen Clarkson, VisitBritain's Vice President - North America. "Through their spending in and exploration across our countries, Canadians contribute significantly to the British economy while shedding light on our vibrant city centres and serene countryside. We're keen to introduce Canadians to these destinations and the many points in between with this campaign."

According to the 2010 International Passenger Survey, 686,000 Canadians visit Britain annually. The whopping number speaks to the popularity of Britain which is the fifth-most-visited market by Canadians. When combined with the annual spend of Canadians in Britain, £513m, Canada is the 6th most valuable source market globally.

"Our goal is to introduce, refresh and remind Canadians why they should visit Britain, and why there is no better time to do so," said Ted Flett, VisitBritain PR and Communications Manager - Canada. "We have a spectacular 2012 line up and like Tottenham-born superstar Adele at the Grammys, we want to be centre stage in the minds of travelling Canadians."

Additional advertising display sites will include PATH underground walkways, Go Transit commuter rail lines and city-wide TTC stations. Yahoo! and Metro newspaper advertising is also planned.

The Canadian activity is part of a global initiative that looks to enhance overseas perceptions of the UK as a major tourist destination and help drive economic growth. Similar promotions are being undertaken until March 2013 in major cities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan and the US(2). The campaign will show the world what makes the UK such a GREAT place to visit at a time when high profile events such as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Cultural Olympiad, Torch Relay and the London 2012 Games are taking place.

New York commuters will see subway trains wrapped in the Union Jack and Grand Central Station filled with GREAT images. Franklin D. Roosevelt Métro station on Paris's Champs-Élysées will be dressed as an art gallery of GREAT images for all to enjoy. In Delhi, GREAT billboards will line the main routes in the city and 200 GREAT branded taxis will be on the streets. Residents in Rio and Sao Paulo will see GREAT images across the sides of buildings, line key city streets and will have our invitation to visit Britain wrapped around their Metro newspaper.

The £25 million image campaign will add to the £100 million match-funded tactical campaign(3) already being run by VisitBritain with commercial partners such as British Airways, Expedia and Radisson Edwardian to deliver the agency's biggest marketing push, with an aim to drive an extra 4.6 million visitors to the UK over the next four years, stimulating an additional £2.3 billion in international spend.


Notes to editors:

  1. Copies of the GREAT ads being used in each country, along with a copy of the television commercial being aired across the globe and other GREAT material are available for use at: http://media.visitbritain.com/

  2. The nine target countries have been chosen for this campaign as they represent the best short and medium term prospects for the UK, with both volume and value being delivered through the near European markets and great potential for future growth from the newer emerging markets such as India and China. We have focused our efforts on the 14 cities where there is the largest concentration of our target audiences, including high spending urban professionals who have a greater propensity to travel. Cities where the image campaign will run are: Beijing & Shanghai; Berlin; Los Angeles & New York; Melbourne & Sydney; Mumbai & New Delhi; Paris; Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paolo; Tokyo; and Toronto.

  3. We are leading a partnership with private industry - with match funding of cash and marketing in kind we will make up a marketing fund of £100m, across a four-year period to enhance the UK's position as one of the world's leading destinations for international tourism.

Image with caption: "Toronto Union Station commuters immersed in GREAT Britain marketing campaign artwork. The campaign targets Canadians with the greatest propensity to travel and is part of a comprehensive global effort leveraging Britain's 2012 line up which includes the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. (CNW Group/VisitBritain)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120214_C4221_PHOTO_EN_10090.jpg

SOURCE VisitBritain

For further information:

Ted Flett, PR & Communications Manager - Canada
Tel: 416-646-6676
e-mail: ted.flett@visitbritain.org

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