Seafood and sandy beaches will figure prominently in P.E.I's tourism advertisements for the coming year, but the ads will be found online rather than on television.
"You just can't do the traditional same old same old unless it's working," Kevin Murphy, tourism advisory council chairman, said Thursday when the Department of Tourism and Culture and the Tourism Advisory Council unveiled the new campaign.
For the first time in 40 years, P.E.I. ads won't be seen on any English-language television stations. Instead, ads will be popping up on Facebook and on specialty sites that cater to golfers and travellers.
PEI is going online - Good. PEI will do a lot of online ads - Fail!
What works online are not ads that are seen as Spam - but authentic stories.
If I was in charge, and hey what do I know about the online world compared to the ad agency, I would do the following that would cost a fraction and have real impact:
1. Create a community site where people would share their pictures, videos and stories about PEI -
2. Seed this site with stories from people for whom PEI has become important
3. Seed this site with a social map where people could show and talk about their fave beaches, golf, food, places to stay
4. Have in this site a rating system - not the obsolete current system - but an eBay type rating system where the rating comes from the visitors - ratings that can be trusted
5. Host this eco system with a small group of people who are very social media savvy who will act as the gardeners - weed out bad stuff - encourage the good
What would this cost? A fraction of what is being spent.
How would it work? Over time it would become the authentic meta story of all who love PEI. Each year it would grow. 98% of the work would be done by the people.
But hey what do I know - after all I have so little experience compared to the folks in ad agencies