Southwest Ontario Tourism Travels To Surge Communications

LONDON, Nov. 8, 2011 /CNW/ - Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC) has selected London-based firm Surge Communications as its advertising agency-of-record following a review that began this past summer.

Surge was one of six agencies competing for the marketing account and received the nod from SWOTC in September.

According to Mary-Ellen Willard, Vice President of Client Growth and Strategy at Surge, the agency was chosen because of its breadth of integrated marketing services, as well as its senior level experience in the travel sector. Willard has an extensive background working in the tourism industry, especially in the southwest Ontario region. Her experience includes positions as Manager of Membership Services and Communications at the Windsor Convention & Visitors Bureau and Director of Tourism for the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce/Cambridge Tourism, where she drove partnership sales and developed marketing initiatives for both cities.

Social Media Will Play An Important Marketing Role

Mark Brown, Vice President of Interactive and Client Solutions at Surge, and founder of three Internet start-up companies, points out that social media will play a major role in SWOTC's new marketing initiatives. "With 84 per cent of online travelers saying that social networking impacts their method of travel, it's obvious that our responsibility will be to capitalize on this trend."

As SWOTC Board Chair Lori Da Silva says, "SWOTC's mandate is to champion and promote tourism as a vital economic driver for Southwest Ontario, working collaboratively with all in the region and investing wisely."  Engaging all in the tourism industry with a consistent brand strategy is familiar marketing territory for Surge, whose clients include Western Fair District, Maple Leaf Foodservice and The Mufflerman.

"The southwest region is somewhat unique in that the organization represents nine distinct areas," says Willard. "Our challenge will be to remove the geographical boundaries for customers so that they see the region as one destination with a multitude of attractions throughout the region."

Surge's work will get underway this fall, but the agency's full impact won't be demonstrated until the spring when a major campaign will be launched.

SOURCE Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC)

For further information:

Jim Hudson, Executive Director, SWOTC
T: (519) 290-8687

Mary-Ellen Willard, VP, Surge Communications
T: (519) 672-9090 ext. 138


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Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC)

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