Critical Mass

Critical Mass

Calgary, Canada

Digital

TitleTravel Alberta Case Study: Thrill
Agency
Campaign Travel Alberta
Advertiser Travel Alberta
Brand Travel Alberta
Date of First Broadcast/Publication
Business Sector Destinations (Countries & Places)
Story

Alberta is home to one of the most stunning mountain ranges in the world, The Canadian Rocky Mountains. The province is beautiful, but for many people completely unknown. We’ve had success sharing the breathtaking imagery of the province through our social channels and influencer videos, but when people look for a winter sports destination, Alberta is often absent from their list.

The core of our brand is “authentic experiences in breathtaking landscapes.” All of our previous successes emphasized the fact that our potential travellers valued authenticity above all else, and so far we’d been able to provide that – both through our digital experiences and through the travel experience when they actually come.

With the winter season approaching, we wanted to create something the earned the attention and excitement of potential travellers. 

Philosophy

To show off the unique experience of winter sports in Alberta’s Rockies and to inspire travellers to consider visiting Alberta, we decided to focus on the emotion of winter sports: thrill. We formulated an approach that communicated that intense, personal feeling and appealed to our target’s desire for adventure.

We created a multi-channel, native campaign that communicated the feeling of thrill, and its unique availability in Alberta. With a series of partnerships, different content and media buys, we tapped into the universal longing for thrill, and were able to make it feel sincere and authentic.

At the core of the campaign was a long form, immersive presentation on GrindTV, which was supported with a Flixel cinemagraph campaign, banner ad and page takeovers and social and YouTube content. 

Problem

Our target was millennial free spirits – 25 to 30 year old travellers with a desire to explore and make every moment of their trip an unforgettably special memory. We needed to show off the winter activities that Alberta offers, and their ability to provide unique emotional experiences.

To do this, we had to present an advertising experience as authentic as the place we were advertising. With that in mind, we naturally gravitated towards a native solution, knowing that by using the right partnership we could inherit that credibility, and that audience.

For us, authenticity had to be more than just our voice. The whole concept had to be something universal, and relatable. It had to be something that would move people, even if they hadn’t heard of Alberta. With this in mind, we developed a strategy that put the feeling of thrill at the centre of everything. 

Result

To get the right audience, at the right time, we had to work with the perfect partnerships in the early months of winter.

So, we worked with the popular online extreme sports magazine GrindTV and created a long-form, immersive article that focused on the people and places connected to the feeling of thrill in Alberta.

We shot a suite of short films to support our story of thrill. Each film featured the camera circling an athlete suspended in time and air, with only subtle details and blowing snow moving. We then repurposed the content for a cinemagraph partnership with Flixel, creating the first-ever 360-degree cinemagraphs.

We drove traffic to our hero native content through banner ads, page takeovers and social media. By using GrindTV, Flixel and the authentic voice of skiiers, we were able to introduce Alberta to an engaged audience of millions of winter sports enthusiasts. 

People didn’t just connect with the feeling of thrill, they associated it with our province and made plans to find it here. Our content was viewed hundreds of thousand of times, earned extensive media pick up and exceeded the Twitter and Facebook benchmarks for the travel category. Most importantly, the winter campaign doubled conversion rates and increased traffic to our local travel partners by over 100%. 

Media Type Branded Content
Length

Featured Work