Nova Scotia as a tourism destination naturally appeals to an older demographic. Our mission for this campaign was to increase the Nova Scotia brand awareness beyond this important audience by developing a social media campaign that could appeal to a younger audience and to gain important learning in the social mediasphere. This program had a very small budget as well, so we had to get very creative and hands-on in delivering the campaign components to ensure success.

In July 2009, I came up with the social media online promotion to help drive traffic to a new and improved Nova Scotia Tourism website. I developed the idea of holding the “I LOVE Nova Scotia” contest inviting people to send a video showing why they love Nova Scotia for a chance to win a $15,000 Nova Scotia dream vacation. To kick off the promotion on YouTube I created and directed a 3-minute video called “I Love Nova Scotia” with the help of RPM Productions in Halifax which featured both tourists and residents talking about why they love Nova Scotia. It was done on a weekend for a very small production budget, but the quality of production was very high due to our hands-on attention to detail.

We used the video to help inspire people to submit their on videos on why they loved Nova Scotia.

Entries were received from all over Canada, and US as well as several countries in Europe, including the UK, France and Germany. We selected 50 finalists and promoted their videos through social networks, spreading the word about Nova Scotia. The winner, selected by online voting, was from Germany. Nova Scotia worked with him to make his vacation unique and memorable so that he would share it with friends, family, and followers back home. The contest drew 190,800 page views on novascotia.com, with more than half viewing other pages on the site. It also provided us with a wealth of user-generated video, as well as important learning about online voting for future contests. “I Love Nova Scotia” contest was a large part of Nova Scotia Tourism’s social media strategy in 2009, one that succeeded in engaging the global marketplace.

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