In order to reinvigorate and revitalize downtown Ottawa businesses hit hard by the recession and the bus strike, Thornley Fallis and 76design conceived, developed and executed the Picture it Downtown campaign for The City of Ottawa, where residents were encouraged to go downtown, snap a photo and share it online.
Point, shoot, share – a simple concept to get Ottawa excited about all it has to offer. The “Picture It Downtown” concept we developed served to visually promote downtown Ottawa as a whole, but also the eight specific areas being promoted: Byward Market, Downtown Rideau, Sparks Street, Bank Street, The Glebe, Chinatown, Preston Street (Little Italy) and Wellington-West Village.
Residents could participate in the campaign contest to win daily ($50), weekly ($250) and grand ($500 to $1200) prizes by taking pictures of downtown activities and uploading them to the campaign website.
The campaign included a media launch event involving the Mayor, a website with a list of downtown activites, a description, videos and photos of each area, contest rules and regulations, a photo gallery for people to submit and view photos, and YouTube videos, featuring all that’s cool in several neighbourhoods, print, radio, online and transit advertising, weekly news releases and ongoing online outreach using other social media tools including Twitter and Flickr.
Thousands of people participated and competed for prizing provided by local businesses.
The campaign was to remind Ottawans of all the diverse experiences and excitement downtown Ottawa has to offer, and entice them to visit downtown — ultimately spending money while engaging in the various activities highlighted in the eight main areas being promoted.
For the City of Ottawa, running a marketing campaign with a heavy online and interactive component was not only a smart business and communications decision, but its creativity generated a lot of buzz within Ottawa and got people sharing ideas and photos of great things to do and see in the city.
The fall 2009 campaign resulted in over ten thousand unique visits to the campaign website, more than 1300 entries (photos uploaded to the website), significant earned media in targeted outlets, photo and video assets for future use by the City, and a general buzz across the City about the creativity of the campaign, particularly by government.
Picture it downtown would not have been possible without our lead technologist Brett Tackaberry, senior web developer Steve Lounsbury, our superb designer Steve St. Pierre, the ad campaign led by Laura Mindorff, the videos by Ryan Knuth, writer and producer LeeEllen Carroll and our SEO expert Shaun Scanlon. Special thanks to our GM Keelan Green, who has a knack for assembling the best teams to deliver outstanding results.
Thank you IABC for the recognition. It’s nice to bask in the spotlight… and great to share successes. As I used to say in my former journalistic career, you’re only as good as your last story. So that means back to work. Right now.