Case Study: Gets the Gold

Who knew? Marty was from BC.

As most of our Travel 2.0 readers have seen, the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver are set against a beautiful, albeit sometimes wonderfully wet, man-made meets rugged backdrop.  The juxtaposition of this natural beauty with the modern city of Vancouver is quite striking, politely demanding a visit to this city by the sea.

For those of us enjoying the games via the magic of the television set, you have also noticed the Tourism BC spots which have become as repetitious as those red Canadian mittens.

After seeing the spot several times during the first weekend of the games, I found myself thinking, ‘I hope Tourism BC is following through on this ad spend with a relevant message on’

Marty, I mean, Michael J. Fox told me that I could learn more on the website and I am expecting to see a pretty obvious connection, in addition to more gorgeous images of Vancouver.

Like a German bobsled team after a good night sleep, did not disappoint.

Let’s review some of the key components of the site and why they work…in our humble opinion.

Repetition of Campaign Messaging and Imagery

Normally, we would not recommend such a tight tie-in between campaign creative and the website.  Frankly, for most of us…CVB, hotel, attraction…the majority of our visitors have not seen any of our campaign creative and such a strong visual correlation often goes unrealized or at worst, ignored.

However, in the case of, the assumption can be made that an influx of traffic to the site has been caused by the hosting of the Olympic Games as well as the advertising surrounding the television broadcast.  In this case, a clear acknowledgment of that campaign is expected and delivered upon. completes this loop by utilizing a mix of campaign imagery, the aforementioned Michael J. Fox peaking into our browser window wearing a very appropriate red jacket, as well as a prominent placement of the commercial via an integrated YouTube video.

In addition to the obvious references, the site includes several mentions of key terms such as ‘Vancouver 2010,’ ‘2010 host’ and perhaps most importantly ‘official travel planning site.’  Small additions as far as scale, but important in connecting the message for the consumer.

Clear Action / Next Step Indicators

Ah, a classic error.  We have spent so much time, energy and money enticing the visitor to make the ultimate commitment, actually visiting our website, we often forget to provide them with an equally clear message on what we want them to do next.

Take pause and think about that idea for a moment.  Does your site convey a clear message to the consumer or provide far too many options as their next move?  Is the message ‘thanks for visiting, click anywhere, we really aren’t sure what we want you to do’ or does it say ‘thanks. Click here, fill this out, then go here.’  Indeed.

Using the visual currency that Tourism BC has already established via the ad spot, they cash in on the usage of Mr. Fox and place the most important (we assume) engagement indicators adjacent to his inviting pose.  Remember that red jacket?  So patriotic (for Canada!) as well as an effective color indicator.  Unintentionally brilliant.

Supportive Content That Works

At this point, you might be thinking that the entire Tourism BC site is a giant image of Michael J. Fox and a few links.  But that would be an unfair judgment against the supporting content present on the homepage.

Links to a robust blogging section, a clear map on the homepage (yeah, most people still do not know where Vancouver is) and information segmented into regions, cities and things to do help guide the consumer as they begin to imagine a trip to BC.

Last but not least, related video of the Robson Square zipline.  A feature of downtown Vancouver that was highlighted by a recent Today Show segment and another excellent example of presenting relevant content to the consumer.

Before we leave this tour of, we would be remiss if we did not mention the tag line or brand line at the conclusion of the TV ads.

‘You Gotta Be Here.’

Really, ‘You Gotta Be Here’ was the best option?

After all of the careful planning for the ad spot and site execution, the addition of such a rudimentary finale seems insulting to our new found love for your little slice of heaven.

‘Super, Natural British Columbia,’ what we assume is the default brand line, is so much stronger than ‘You Gotta Be Here’ it would not be surprising to learn that the line was conceived by a member of Mensa.

So, not a perfect 10.0 from this judge.  A brief stumble at the end of the routine cost them a few points, but all in all, we are still impressed with Tourism BC’s foray into attracting visitors to the land of sea and mountains.

8.1 and a promise that it will not be four years before our trip over the border.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.