If you are wondering what Tourism Whistler’s (TW) winter marketing campaign will be based on, then look no further than your iPhone.
TW staff and President and CEO Barrett Fisher and presented the social media and Instagram-based marketing campaign at a meeting on Tuesday (Oct. 2).
Last year, the destination marketing organization departed from its traditional way of promoting the resort with a campaign that engaged customers by asking them to enter to win a one month sabbatical to Whistler that went viral.
Fisher said this campaign builds on that departure away from traditional marketing.
“This year is an even greater departure,” she said. “It is focusing on our customers’ perspectives of Whistler and showcase the genuine guest perception and experiences of Whistler rather than the tourism bureau showcasing our perspective.
“The term marketing means to ultimately be customer driven and we recognize one of the strongest marketing tools we have is positive word of mouth.
“More and more customers are moving away from only listening to the voice of corporations and they are really seeking out the advice and insights from people they trust who are close to them — their friends and family.”
Word of mouth and social media seem to go hand in hand. With that in mind #WhistlerUnfiltered has sourced its images directly from real life experiences of visitors to the resort last season.
Senior manager of marketing services Kirsten Homeniuk explained Tourism Whister reached out to1,000 Instagram photos taken last winter and approximately 800 have agreed to be part of the campaign.
She said the idea is to engage, inspire, entertain and make an emotional connection with guests and potential visitors to drive traffic to the website. The campaign will be on television, in print, online and mobile challenges. It asks consumers to participate directly in the campaign by hashtagging their Instagram photos with #WhistlerUnfiltered. Each week some of the consumer generated content, i.e. Instagram photos, will be used on the www.whistlerunfiltered.com microsite.
Homeniuk said the campaign will be successful if businesses and members engage directly with those posting images online.
“This will help us create an emotional connection with our audience and solidify our brand,” she said.
Thematically the #Whistlerunfiltered images have been divided into categories of: anticipation, rooftop of the world, dropping in, snow play and boots off. As the season progresses videos for each will be posted online and several contests are planned to support the campaign.
“The campaign we are launching is really our way to thanking our customers for sharing their Whistler experiences and showcasing their Whistler vacations through their photography and through their experiences,” Fisher said.