Unknown Canada Goes Viral



With little to no branding involved, Tribal DDB Toronto’s ploy for the Canadian Tourism Commission began last August and sent an unassuming couple on a jaunt across three major Canadian cities–namely Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Posing as tourists, the pair were told to indulge themselves throughout with the only stipulation being to capture their fun on a digital camera and a camcorder. The footage was then sent to be inserted into 1,000 USB keys, which were also stuffed with MP3’s of hip Canadian acts along with the couple’s itinerary. They would then be “mistakenly” left in key American markets, including Chicago as one of the central locations.

Those who found the keys and loaded them up would find an embedded link once they played the MP3’s, which directed them ultimately to the landing page “Unknown Canada.” Nevertheless, the clever strategy leads the key owners to a site that includes a host of information and destinations for not just the three cities mentioned, but also Vancouver and Calgary. Additionally, descriptions of Canadian indie acts like Stars and Malajube can be perused, adding up quite an experiential taste of our neighbors up North.

Thoughts// A quirky little site from our friends to north, Unknown Canada, shows ‘adventurous’ travelers some of the little known sites and sounds of Canada. The real star of the show is the way this campaign was introduced to the public via USB keys or flash drives…similar to the promotion of the most recent Nine Inch Nails album, Year Zero. A clever way to get consumers actively involved with your brand…as long as you deliver a payoff worthy of the effort involved.

Adding some additional content, such as a few unique videos and mapping features to the site, would be a way to further engage the consumer.

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