Projecting Yukon wilderness into a congested urban centre has landed a local marketing agency national recognition.
Outside the Cube has won a Canadian Marketing Association award, but they won’t know if the prize is gold, silver or bronze until a gala ceremony near the end of November.
The award highlights advertising campaigns across the country in a range of divisions. Outside the Cube is being honoured in the “PR and Social Media” category.
Officials with the association say they believe it’s the first time a Yukon company has been acknowledged.
The same campaign was also announced as one of two finalists for “Place Based Media” in the Media Innovation Awards, which take place on November 7 in Toronto.
The campaign, designed for Tourism Yukon, used the side of Toronto city buildings as projection screens to display images of the Yukon.
That was combined with motion-detecting speakers that played corresponding sounds, and the crowds were stopping in the streets, said Outside the Cube President and CEO Dee Enright.
“People were just stopping, it was really cool. They would look around and for a minute not knowing what was going on.”
Enright said the campaign, which happened over three days in April, was designed to be a unique way to sell the territory.
“Toronto is one of tourism’s hubs,” she said. “But buying media in Toronto is extremely expensive.”
Using buildings outside the Air Canada Centre, near the Esplanade and close to the downtown Delta Chelsea hotel, attracted people who helped with promoting through various types of social media.
“One of the really important parts (of the idea) was that people not only stop, but also pull out their cellphones and start recording and sharing it online,” she said.
That part seemed to work. The ads were featured in multiple stories by Toronto news organizations that stopped by to see what was going on.
Outside the Cube was incorporated in 2004. The company has offices in Whitehorse, Vancouver and Yellowknife.
Denny Kobayashi, senior manager of global marketing for Tourism Yukon, said the social media aspect of the campaign was a success right from the beginning.
“It was instant feedback of us, the kind you can’t get with a standard campaign.”
The short clips featured rugged mountains, the northern lights, images of gold panning and examples of First Nation dance, followed by the tagline Yukon Larger Than Life.
During one event, the images were being projected onto the side of a building just outside the Air Canada Centre.
Not long after the images began rolling, a former Yukoner – who happened to be living in that building – came downstairs and introduced herself to Kobayashi.
She had just seen on Twitter what was going on.
“That’s when you realize the power of social media,” Kobayashi said.
Since their premiere on the Toronto cityscape, the videos have been posted online.
“It really didn’t end there, they are now available on our website and other platforms,” he said.
Outside the Cube’s design was created to “really jar them out of their urban landscape,” Enright said.
A good advertisement for the Yukon really needs to help people “create a movie in their head,” she said, something that is difficult to do with conventional print media.
“Say, ‘Come to Jamaica’ and people can picture that. It’s not the same with Yukon.”
Contact Ashley Joannou at