Scotiabank Contact goes mobile

This year marks the first mobile strategy and coast-to-coast OOH campaign for the annual photography festival.

Now in its 15th year, the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival in Toronto features over 1,000 lens luminaries across 200 venues throughout the month of May. For your average appreciator of photography, it’s a staggering amount of creativity to cram into one month.

To help attendees make the critical when-and-where decisions throughout the festival, presenting sponsor Scotiabank has launched a new mobile app.

The Scotiabank Contact Nav App allows users to view all exhibitions, find out which ones are open that day, navigate the festival via GPS and keyword-search exhibitions.

The app solved one of Contact’s most significant communications issues, the festival’s executive director, Darcy Killeen, tells MiC.

‘One of the big issues with Contact is that it’s the world’s largest [photography] festival, but people get their catalogue or go the website, and say, ‘Great! What do I do?’ There’s never been an easy way to navigate the festival; it’s very complicated. So that’s something that Scotiabank is aware of – we have this massive audience of over a million people but how do we further engage them? The app is the perfect tool to do that.’

The app is the mobile icing on the cake of what has become a large-scale media effort in promotion of the festival. Primarily generated through its media partners, the plan now includes a coast-to-coast OOH and DOOH campaign, thanks to partner Pattison Outdoor; wild postings in Toronto; print ads in a variety of consumer and trade magazines including Toronto Life and Next Level; and year-round international television support through CTV’s Fashion Television.

The media plan and the festival intersect via a deal that Scotiabank put together with Onestop Media in which the company’s subway station screens in Toronto will function as one of the public art installations, but also feature ads for the festival throughout the month of May.

Finally,  for the first time the festival also put together a detailed social media strategy for its duration, compiling a day-to-day plan for social media content across its Twitter, Facebook and blogger network. The festival has been utilizing the medium for several years now, but this is the first time they’ve approached it so methodically, Killeen says.

Featured exhibitions at this year’s festival include celeb Canadian photographers Edward Burtynsky, Robert Bean, Fred Herzog, Suzy Lake, Guy Tillim and a four-photographer exhibition titled Dynamic Landscapes.

Through Scotiabank, the festival works with Capital C in Toronto on some of the creative, and handles other promotional elements either in-house or in association with Scotiabank.