#LoveYourDowntown campaign wins International Award for DFI

Downtown Fredericton wins international award

The International Downtown Association recognized Downtown Fredericton Inc. with the Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence for its #LoveYourDowntown marketing campaign. The Award of Excellence is the highest level of recognition given by the Association in the Marketing and Communications category. The award recognizes innovative marketing strategies across print and electronic media to promote downtown and further the value of city centres.

In the summer of 2015, Downtown Fredericton Inc. (DFI) and Ginger Design Inc. partnered to create a comprehensive, cross media campaign to promote our great downtown, the #LoveYourDowntown campaign.

The secret to a wonderful relationship

DFI and Ginger have enjoyed a wonderful working relationship for over 5 years now. We’ve worked closely together on numerous campaigns and initiatives. The work we’ve done together has developed into a strong sense of trust. Over the years this trust has become the absolute cornerstone of our prosperous relationship.

Sharing our love of our beautiful downtown!

When it comes to our downtown, I have to admit I am a bit of a fanboy. From the first time I stepped foot on Queen St. (coincidentally) during the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, I was immediately enamoured with our downtown. I have lived in most cities in Eastern Canada and Fredericton is one of the best.

In fact, our entire team lives the downtown Fredericton experience. We are all actively involved in our community in one way or another. From volunteering with a number of awesome cultural experiences, to enjoying all of the amazing dining and one of a kind shopping experiences.  There is a reason our office is right smack in the middle of the downtown and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Something Fredericton had never seen before

A number of different campaign concepts and past works by our client were carefully reviewed. We conducted research into other successful downtown organizations across Canada and met influential decision makers across the downtown. We wanted to know what worked and more importantly, what didn’t.

When it came time to brainstorm creative ideas for the summer campaign, we knew we wanted to take it in a direction Fredericton had not seen before. We knew our downtown was more than just a geographical boundary, it was something special and it was just a matter of putting our finger on it. We wanted to know what was it that set Fredericton’s thriving and lively downtown apart from other cities.

It’s the people that make downtown Fredericton special

It wasn’t long before we noticed our discussions kept coming back one important thing. It was the people that made downtown Fredericton great, and more specifically, the pride people have in our downtown. Fredericton is very lucky to have had so many great champions. There are so many putting time and effort into ensuring our downtown remains strong and vibrant. Whether it be their jobs, volunteerism, sitting on boards or entrepreneurship, it is the love we put into our downtown that makes it great.

Naming the campaign was the tough part.How do we share our love of our downtown with our entire community (and beyond)?  We went down the rabbit hole on this one but I’ll spare you the grizzly details. Then we remembered the most important rule of our work, keep it simple! That’s when the #LoveYourDowntown name sprang to life (Great work, Kerry).

From this point on we developed a comprehensive campaign strategy that touches on every major demographic in the area. We tailored our messaging to each suit each media channel in order to best engage with key audiences. Although we can’t give away our secret recipe, we will say that for the week leading up to Canada Day 2015, the capital region really did #LoveYourDowntown.

Especially Creative Creative

We really wanted to show our creative horsepower on this project. For years our team wanted to put together a campaign of this type for the downtown. When the time finally arrived, we knew we had to make sure this was our very best. The creative was simple, it was all about the message. We know that positivity is contagious. We set about filling a number of media channels with very simple creative with the goal of promoting pride and love of our downtown. Simplicity was the name of the game. We set our sights outside of the downtown in order to share the love with the rest of the city.

The cornerstone of the campaign was to be a video that highlighted all of the incredible things about the downtown, starring none other than the amazing, Jessie Yerxa. Jessie did a wonderful job acting in this video and totally nailed the script.

Kicking off an amazing summer in downtown Fredericton

As they say, timing is everything. We wanted the campaign to tie in with the lead up to one of the best times in downtown Fredericton…summer! The campaign started 1 week before July 1st, which is first, Canada Day and the festivities in Officers’ Square. Secondly, it is also the kick off to all the awesome things to do in downtown during the summer months.

Nothing speaks louder than great results!

Our campaign totalled over 1.1 million impressions over the week and had strong engagement. We followed up the campaign with random polling and found that the majority of Fredericton had seen, remembered and enjoyed the campaign. To this day, you will see the #LoveYourDowntown hashtag being used on a number of social platforms.

What did you think of the #LoveYourDowntown campaign? We’d love to hear all about it!



Written by Andrew Bedford