Virgin seeks hidden gems. Hipsters may apply

The airline is promoting its Toronto-San Francisco corridor with a young 'n' cool-targeted contest and a local blog buy. 

Virgin America airline is reaching out to hip young Torontonians and San Franciscans with a promotion asking ‘scene-makers’ to share their favourite local hangouts.

The Hometown Hideouts contest was designed to promote the airline’s relatively new Toronto-San Francisco corridor, asking residents of each city to share local hot spots with residents from the other city. Participants are asked to submit their ‘ideal itineraries’ on local blogs and and then visitors to the sites will vote on which itineraries sound the best. The prize is a private show with Toronto-based indie band Broken Social Scene.

To promote the contest, Virgin America has a site domination with and (both blogs focus on local news, arts and entertainment).

The blogs were chosen because of their young, urban-savvy audiences, Dimitrios Papadogonas, director, marketing, Virgin America, tells MiC.

‘The main reason we chose these two cities is that Virgin America is based in San Francisco and we were eager to celebrate one of our newest destinations: Toronto,’ says Papadogonas. ‘Toronto and San Francisco have a lot in common as they are cosmopolitan cities with a tremendous amount of culture and interest in arts and entertainment. We felt that Hometown Hideouts was the perfect fit for both regions and, of course, a great way to encourage San Franciscans and Torontonians to get to know one another’s cities better.’

Eleven, based in San Francisco, was the creative agency for the campaign, and US-based Carat handled the media buy. Promotional partners for the contest include the Toronto and San Francisco convention and visitors bureaus.

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