Granville Island uses Gingerbread Man to boost tourism

The BC tourist attraction hopes to rev up retail sales with a campaign including print, online, direct mail and TV.

British Columbia tourist attraction Granville Island is using the Gingerbread Man fairy tale to draw more visitors this year. ‘The Gingerbread Man campaign involves using professional actors to enact the fairy tale on the island in a 30-minute play held on weekends until Christmas,’ David Walker, partner at Vancouver-based ad agency Saint Bernadine Mission Communications, tells MiC.

Walker, who created the campaign, says the prime focus behind the initiative was to get more people exploring less traveled areas of the island and increase sales for its crafts people. Over 12 million tourists visit annually, with 71% coming from outside of BC.

To achieve that goal, onlookers follow musicians, performers and the wily fox looking to snack on the Gingerbread Man as he weaves through the unexplored parts of the island, ending up in the marketplace. Once there, visitors discover a huge gingerbread house.

To create buzz about the events, a multi-platform media campaign includes online, direct mail, print ads and closed captioning on CTV shows. Specialty online newsletter sites such as Vitamin V and Vitamin V Kids, which provide information on shopping deals, complete the media buy. Granville Island executed the media buy in-house. The campaign runs until Christmas.