A lyrical invitation to visit Newfoundland and Labrador

Who: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism, with Target for strategy, creative and media, Sparks Productions Inc. for production, (directed by Paul Santana), Rooster / Fort York for post-production, and Fortunate Ones for music.

What: The latest iteration of the long-running “Find Yourself” marketing campaign, with music and song as its core theme.

When & Where: This national campaign is running until the end of April. It launched with the 90-second version of the ad that ran on TV for two weeks in mid-January, and is now running as both a :60 and a :30. Aside from broadcast, creative is also running online (digital and social) and on in-flight media. There’s also print in the Globe and Mail and local newspapers in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Hamilton, London and St. Catharines.

Why: Live music is embedded in the culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, and while the pandemic couldn’t take it away, it did make it difficult—and sometimes impossible—to enjoy the specific pleasure of live music shared with others. Target created this campaign to invite people back to once again share the province and its music.

“Music is the authentic soundtrack to life in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the backdrop to having a good time,” said Catherine Kelly, director of account management at Target. “The music of Newfoundland and Labrador is both differentiating and relevant; the combination of creativity, tradition, and celebration that resounds from our many musicians and artists can be found just about anywhere here.”

How: The new work retains key ingredients of previous “Find Yourself” campaigns, with an anchor TV ad, “Leave No Song Unsung,” combining footage of the province’s majestic landscapes, its quaint towns and villages with narration that feels less like a tourism pitch and more like a love poem to the province. (TJ Arch and Darren Clarke share writing credits on this one.)

But this campaign is also about the province’s culture. “The notion of leaving no song unsung is a powerful metaphor for how Newfoundlanders and Labradorians live life, always to the fullest,” said Kelly. The campaign is an invitation to visitors to book an adventure to the province now, to experience the place and its people, and their passion for getting the most out of life while celebrating the province they call home. “Here’s the thing,” says the voiceover. “We work just as hard as anyone, but we’ll always make time for a bit of fun.”

“Music is an underlying theme of ‘Leave No Song Unsung,’” said Kelly. “But thematically it’s a much bigger than that, because it’s a philosophy for living life. It was sparked by the insight that ‘The world changed, now it’s your turn’.”

“This sentiment about embracing life in the now has universal appeal, and is especially relevant in a pandemic reality,” she said.

How has “Find yourself” evolved: “Building a successful tourism brand isn’t about doing one great advertising campaign during one moment in time. It’s about a relentless, lasting commitment to a brand’s story and identifying the opportunities that reside in creating the next chapter,” said Kelly.

And for the expats… Newfoundland Tourism is also running a campaign called Come Home 2022, asking expats to come back to the province this year. Target created another musically themed short film called “A Song Called Come Home,” which was released online and shared organically, with a paid push coming.

The video is an ode to the famous whales that sing their own songs in the North Atlantic, but with a playful double meaning that invites Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to come back for a visit. “No matter where you find yourself,” says the voiceover, as visuals switch from whales to prairie fields and the streets of Toronto. “No matter how long you’ve been away, in the quiet moments you can still hear their song, an overture to join the migration. An invitation to the reunion.”

“‘A Song Called Come Home’ was the emotive launch video to kickstart Come Home 2022, a year-long invitation to visit (or return home) to Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Kelly. “The reality is music can take you places, let it carry you to Newfoundland and Labrador.”

David Brown