Air Transat buys big at Yonge-Dundas

This marks the first full domination since Branded Cities took over the majority of screens at the square.

As a travel company, Air Transat has many key destinations. But one of the most important one has been Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square.

Genevieve LeBrun, VP of marketing, says it first began activating in the shopping and tourism hub in 2017, but its OOH buys have steadily increased at the square over the years. Now, for the month of February, Air Transat has become the first brand to buy a full OOH domination across Branded Cities’ expanded array of OOH boards at the intersection, marking its biggest OOH spend.

In July, Branded Cities took over the front face of the building on the northeast corner of the square, adding 10,995 square feet of digital media space and 13,861 square feet of large-format static space. There are other vendors in the square, including Astral, which has a wraparound digital billboard atop the Shoppers, and Outfront, which sells smaller digital faces around the square, so Branded Cities’ expansion was created with domination in mind – it also has an 8,454 square-foot digital display atop the Eaton Centre entryway, and numerous faces above the Atrium on Bay.

“There’s not that many environments like this in Canada, not a lot of chances where you can have that much impact in a single place,” LeBrun tells MiC. “It allows you to stay fairly simple in your message but using depth [in terms of volume], which makes it very compelling.”

It chose February for the full domination because it’s a “perfect intersection” in terms of busy seasons. While travel is largely a year-round business, she says, February sees a large amount of activity for last-minute bookings of winter vacations, as well as eager pre-planning for summer vacations.

In general, LeBrun says Air Transat has a “you name it, we use it” approach to media buying. Traditional television, radio, online video and display as well as print dailies are all big elements of media spend. But OOH remains its biggest priority in the winter, and the chance to entirely dominate an area is important for category prominence, she says.

“In February, things can be fairly monochromatic. We feel that with our strong colours, our bright blue, that it can exacerbate the impact we have in the environment, versus if we would be there in a summer season,” she says. “Out-of-home remains a very good media to raise awareness, and the digitization of the offering has made it a bit more flexible for us to adapt our messaging to the timing of the day or month.”

Air Transat worked with Sid Lee Media on the buy.