Tourism Victoria makes a splash in Calgary

The BC city drops sculptures of sea creatures into one of its key markets to engage families with a Facebook contest.
Vic Sea Pal Sol

Tourism Victoria is bringing the ocean to Calgary with a challenge to round up three of its well-known ocean creatures who are on the lam.

The non-profit had multiple large-scale sculptures of sea-dwelling mascots named “Sol the Seal,” “Simon the Salmon,” and “Orland the Orca” dropped in strategic downtown locations on July 18 as part of its most recent campaign.

Victoria, BC-based Eclipse Creative handled the creative, Toronto-based Newad handled the planning and Tourism Victoria handled the media buy in-house.

The campaign, which runs until Aug. 5, challenges consumers to find the escaped animals and post a photo on the organization’s Facebook page. Once Calgarians do so, they are entered to win a trip for four to Victoria, sponsored by hotel partners the Hotel Grand Pacific, Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

The campaign also includes transit shelter takeovers, wild postings, print ads in Metro, and radio spots on Calgary’s Jack FM.

“We wanted to bring the sea to these people,” Tourism Victoria director of destination marketing Trina Mousseau tells MiC, noting that Calgary is a key market for the organization because of its size and the tourist population it brings to the city each year for the Calgary Stampede. The campaign was created to target parents aged 30 to 45, specifically.

“Since the sculptures have dropped we’ve already had hundreds of entries to our contest,” says Mousseau.