June 25, 2021 - Tourism London is the proud recipient of a 2021 Virtuoso Award of Excellence in the Audio/Visual category for our Support Local video campaign. Presented by International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) London, the Virtuoso Awards are Southwestern Ontario’s premier professional awards celebrating excellence in communications and the best in creative strategy and design.
“Being recognized among marketing and communication professionals in Southwestern Ontario for our efforts in promoting and driving local recovery is really special," said Natalie Wakabayashi, Director of Culture & Entertainment Tourism for Tourism London. "It demonstrates the value of what Tourism London provides to our members, tourism partners and industry stakeholders as we strategically market the Forest City.”
Using remaining funds from FedDev Ontario’s Regional Recovery and Relief Fund, and knowing the holidays were quickly approaching and businesses were suffering, Tourism London created a Support Local video series in late 2020. The goal was to capture some of the unique stories and people behind the destinations that define London while driving economic recovery for businesses struggling due to the pandemic.
Launched on Facebook, the campaign included a professionally produced video for each of the nine businesses presented under three distinct categories (eat, shop and play local). The videos featured the business owner telling their own story – how the business got started, what they feature or specialize in, why they are unique in London and how important it is to support local during this difficult time. Outside of Facebook, the videos were also uploaded to Tourism London’s YouTube channel, Instagram and Twitter account for additional awareness and promotion.
As an added bonus, each partner also received an updated photography suite (40-75 images) for them to use in future marketing campaigns, on their website and on their social media channels. The entire campaign came at no cost to the businesses featured.
“The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit and will be one of the last to recover from this pandemic,” said Wakabayashi. “As the City of London’s Destination Marketing Organization, we’re doing our best to support our members and tourism partners through this difficult time. If we can lessen the burden and use our marketing resources to drive recovery for our partners, we’re slowly contributing to building back the tourism industry in London.”
This project was so successful that Tourism London recently received additional funding to expand the project in 2021. Partnering with the regional tourism partner Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC), and with funding from the Municipal Accommodation Tax fund, Tourism London’s Support Local Video Series 2.0 launched in June and will feature an additional 17 businesses under the same three categories of shop, eat and play local.
To see the businesses featured to date, check out Tourism London’s Support Local video series playlist on YouTube or follow Tourism London on Facebook.