The Yukon vacation planner is coming home.
For the first time in 18 years, a local firm will design and sell ads in the planner, which is the flagship promotional vehicle of the Yukon’s Tourism and Culture department.
Aasman Design Inc. won the prestigious $130,000 design contract, beating out several competitors from across the country.
And Aasman’s subsidiary, Crackerjack Media, scored the three-year contract to sell display and line ads in the publication. That second contract is worth about $34,000.
“The design and production will be 100-per-cent Yukon made,” said Trevor Sellars, Aasman’s executive vice-president of client services.
It’s the first time in a decade the contract has been awarded to a private company, said Sellars.
“It’s a huge feather in the company’s cap, but also it will help our bottom line.”
In the past, Aasman had a hand in designing the vacation planner; it worked in partnership with the Calgary-based firm Trigger Communications.
Yukon’s Tourism and Culture department publicly tendered the contracts in February and March, and Aasman competed against a handful of other agencies throughout the country.
Aasman’s coup was announced publicly in April at TIA Yukon’s industry conference in Dawson City.
Previously, Tourism bundled sales, design and production duties into one contract that was doled out to the Tourism Industry Association.
And, for the past few years, the publication has seen its ad sales slipping.
In 2003 it sold $140,000 worth of ads; in 2004 it dropped to $114,000, in 2005 $101,000 and in 2006 it bottomed out at $99,000.
Sellars and the Crackerjack team are looking to bring those numbers up.
In its first year, they predict a $100,000 in sales, $115,000 in the second and, in the third, $120,000.
Over the next 10 weeks, a team of four Crackerjack ad reps plan to approach a carefully-tailored client list of hundreds of local tourism operators and worldwide firms, like Holland America, to put their names in the magazine, said Sellars.
Aasman will sell line ads, which list Yukon businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, for $125.
Its larger display ads, that range in size from an eighth of a page up to a two-page spread, go for between $200 and $8,000, said Sellars.
Plus, the firm has designed an interactive website where clients who have advertised in past years’ publications can simply re-order their ads by re-entering their specifications.
The company will take 34 per cent of the total ads sales, which Sellars hopes will climb well above the predicted $100,000 in the first year.
In 2007, the planner will be 116 pages of full-colour, high-resolution text and images.
It outlines where to stay, where to eat and what to do while in the territory.
“It’s our key promotional piece that we produce on an annual basis,” said Yukon Tourism branch director Pierre Germain. “It’s full of travel information for the territory, listings of Yukon businesses and regions and maps.”
Two hundred thousand copies are to be printed and sent to possible tourists all over the world.
Printing the full-colour, high-resolution magazine must be done outside the territory because there are no local facilities capable of handling the job.
Al and Margriet Aasman founded the company and began building a client-base in 1989.
The pair partnered with Sellars a few years later and the three built it into a bustling firm with clients throughout the Yukon, Alaska and NWT.
Today, Aasman’s offices are located on the second floor of 402 Hanson Street, overlooking Fourth Avenue.
Its 18 staffers provide strategic planning and business branding services, project management services, media planning services, pre-press publication design and web design and development for dozens of clients.