Banff Tourism – Small Squirrel Big Noise
Have you seen the latest Banff Tourism social media campaign? A couple set up to take their photo with an auto timer on their camera and a little inquisitive squirrel popped in front of the camera in the last moment to see what’s making all that noise.
Since then, people have been using Photoshop to insert the little creature in their photos. Banff Tourism saw the opportunity and the whole world is buzzing with noise about the little squirrel – from Twitter feeds to Crasher Squirrel iPhone applications, people are creating photos and sharing them with everyone. Buzzfeed.com created a specific channel for people to share their squirrel crasher photos. The response seems to be overwhelming.
A search on Google for Banff Tourism returned this page as number 3 before TripAdvisor reviews and The Official website for the town of Banff. This story just comes to show how powerful people could be when they find something interesting, engaging and fun. When people form a tribe and create a movement, when they have a leader (in this case their leader is Banff Tourism) very powerful campaigns are born.
I’m happy to see that Banff Tourism saw the value in this incident and capitalized on it well. A funny incident turned into a popular and authentic social media campaign that help carry the destination brand. As of the writing of this post, they have 1,778 people following the little squirrel on Twitter. In my opinion, Banff Tourism implemented very well the following 5 steps that are integral to any successful social media campaign:
1. Understand and listen to your audience
2. Be authentic
3. Make it fun
4. Engage your customers
5. Communicate your message
Too many visitors bureaus and destination properties can learn from this campaign and put their heads together as to how to create something engaging, funny and authentic for their own brands. Have you seen anything similar? What do you think of this campaign? Do you think it works for their brand?
I’m editing this post a day after I posted it, to show you the ROI from the campaign. According to Media Canada, It reached over 80 million people for free, and generated over $3 million in publicity in print, TV and online. It was mentioned in 301 blogs across North America (they can change that number to 302), and generated over 5,000 Twitter mentions and 659 Facebook posts. The entire campaign cost Banff Tourism $5,000. Now are you impressed?