Tourism WinnipegHarvestHyper

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Targeting UND campus and American border towns leads to increased tourism

The Challenge

Tourism Winnipeg likes to joke that the city doesn’t offer the sexy beach experience of sunny Florida or other typical spring break destinations, but that was no reason not to market the city as a spring break stop for American university students. They thought the University of North Dakota would be a good target as it is only a two-and-a-half hour drive south of Winnipeg and, conversely, thousands of miles away from the nearest beach, making it unlikely that many students would have spring break plans. The challenge was to figure out how to reach this demographic who might otherwise not have considered Winnipeg as a travel destination. Winnipeg has a lot of attractions to appeal to young adults, especially in the bar and restaurant scene at The Forks. Tourism Winnipeg wanted to achieve an increase in cross-border tourism and an awareness of the city’s offerings. With one of the smallest tourism budgets of the major Canadian cities, it was really important that they could be efficient and precise with their spending.

Tourism Winnipeg is a division of Economic Development Winnipeg and is the city’s destination marketing organization. Tourism Winnipeg’s mission is to promote and influence economic growth in Winnipeg and to facilitate the future of a healthy, prosperous, fully integrated, responsible tourism industry.

The Approach

In order to target the University of North Dakota we used our Hyper technology to draw a geofence around the university in order to target ads to the mobile devices of those on campus. The ads promoted Winnipeg as a top regional spring-break destination and offered packages and deals for hotels, restaurants and local attractions.

The cities of Fargo and Grand Forks were also targeted due to their proximity to Winnipeg. In this instance the cities as a whole were targeted with ads geared towards families about family friendly attractions.
Between mid-February and mid-March 2018 awareness ads targeted university students and families, and the campaign included video ads and retargeting of those who visited Tourism Winnipeg’s website.

The Results

More than 4000 unique devices were reached and CTR was 3x higher than the industry standard!


CTR 3x

higher than industry benchmark


The Conclusion

Winnipeg is often not thought of as the first choice for a vacation and Tourism Winnipeg knew that selling the city as a spring break destination was going to be a challenge. But it was a challenge that paid off! They were so excited with the results and told us that a local attraction told them they saw a lot of UND students during spring break, which Tourism Winnipeg said was due 100% to our advertising campaign. This campaign shows the success that can be found by targeting a specific demographic. Tourism Winnipeg enjoyed working with us and we have worked on multiple comprehensive campaigns with them now that includes search, social, data and Hyper targeting.


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