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Never Have I Ever marketing campaigns in Halifax and Toronto have a common goal to encourage locals and visitors from nearby markets to get out and enjoy experiences close to home.

August 25, 2021 – Halifax, Nova Scotia: When great destinations think alike, you never know what can happen. Destination marketing organizations Discover Halifax and Destination Toronto have (separately, but simultaneously) created marketing campaigns built around a Never Have I Ever theme. Halifax's Never Have I Ever and Toronto's Never Have I Ever, TO respectively aim to encourage locals and visitors from nearby markets to get out and enjoy experiences close to home. Both campaigns also have a focus on supporting local businesses that the pandemic has hard hit.

"We're excited to see our friends at Destination Toronto launch their own Never Have I Ever campaign," says Clare Tidby, VP, Marketing, Discover Halifax. "When we started our campaign in June, we knew there was pent-up demand for travel, and we wanted to help locals and visitors alike discover the amazing experiences here in our province. As we near the end of our campaign, we're thrilled with our results and the added boost that the campaign has provided local businesses. We wish Toronto the same successes."

Discover Halifax created the campaign with partners Halifax Chamber of Commerce, Halifax Partnership, and the Halifax Regional Municipality to drive new revenue into the visitor economy. Beginning as Nova Scotia came out its third-wave lockdown, the campaign equipped Nova Scotians with information and tools to help them discover something new in the Halifax region this summer. Then, as restrictions eased, the campaign extended into all Atlantic Canada.

Encouraging travel in one's own backyard aligns with a report published by Destination Canada in March 2021, which highlighted how domestic tourism is needed to stimulate the visitor economy. By keeping their tourism dollars in Canada, Canadians can play a critical role in bolstering the tourism economy, creating jobs, and supporting local businesses.

During the first month of its campaign, Discover Halifax's website traffic increased by 211%, while the campaign landing page (neverhaveiever.ca) has doubled the visitation of any other page on the site. The average time spent scrolling Never Have I Ever content is four minutes.

The campaign included out-of-home, print, radio, and digital ads, including video, audio, and display. Digital ads have performed exceptionally well, with a social media click-through rate more than doubling industry standards.

A significant part of the campaign has been weekly social media contests with a bundle of local businesses gift cards valued at $500 as prizes. To date, $8000 worth of gift cards have infused cash into local businesses, helping to promote the businesses while driving campaign interest.

Discover Halifax plans to extend its Never Have I Ever campaign into the fall and early winter with the aim of continuing to boost the local economy during the shoulder season.

Discover Halifax is currently also in-market with its Reconnections marketing campaign. The $950,000 campaign—the most significant in the organization’s history—aims to attract travellers from national markets, including the Greater Toronto Area and urban Alberta, by positioning Halifax as the ‘elixir’ to the lockdown.

Quick facts:

  • Discover Halifax launched the $170,000 Never Have I Ever campaign in June 2021.
  • The campaign initially targeted Nova Scotians but expanded to Atlantic Canada as the province eased some COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The campaign website, neverhaveiever.ca, was built in-house with domain rights belonging to Discover Halifax.
  • $8000 worth of gift cards purchased from local businesses.
  • M5 built and executed the paid media campaign and they partnered with Accomplice Content Supply to produce the radio spots.
  • Pattison Outdoor, Stingray, and the Saltwire Network supported the campaign through VIK contributions.

About Discover Halifax

Discover Halifax is a non-profit, membership-based marketing and sales organization in partnership with the Halifax regional government, the Hotel Association of Nova Scotia and participating industry members. Since its inception in 2002, Discover Halifax’s goal is to promote Halifax as a destination of choice for leisure and business travellers. Halifax typically welcomes 5.3 million overnight stays each year, who spend $1.3 billion. Halifax alone represents over 54% of all visitation to Nova Scotia, and 34,000 people are employed in the tourism industry.

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Media Contact:

Fallon Bourgeois

Director, Communications, Discover Halifax

fbourgeois@discoverhalifaxns.com