Travel Yukon wants colourblind visitors to see the full majesty of the Northern Lights

Yukon’s tourism marketer Travel Yukon has long promoted extraordinary views of the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, as one of the reasons to visit the territory.

“You’ll be completely captivated and enchanted by the magic of it all,” reads the section of the Yukon Travel website dedicated to the nighttime light show. “The beautiful colours. The way the lights dance across the sky. We’re biased, but it’s the best show we’ve ever seen. Cirque du Soleil, who?”

But the light show isn’t as magical for the 1.6 million Canadians living with some form of colour blindness, so Travel Yukon is running a new campaign to make the Northern Lights more accessible for those people.

The tourism marketer has partnered with EnChroma, which makes eyewear that lets those with colourblindness see a broader array of bright colours, to offer a 25% discount on the glasses (which start at US$229). That offer is being promoted with a campaign built around the story of one man with colourblindness able to enjoy the Northern Lights with a pair of the special glasses.

The two-minute video—which includes lots of aerial shots of the scenic Yukon landscape in winter—tells the story of Russell Basilio using EnChroma glasses to see the Northern Lights while visiting the territory with his sister.

“Growing up colourblind I always knew I saw the world differently. My sister would describe things to me like the Northern Lights, but I never really understood what that meant,” said Basilio in a release. “To experience the Northern Lights in colour with my sister by my side was a gift.”

The video ends with the super “It’s a different world up here,” which was introduced last year tin a brand campaign positioning the Yukon as unlike any place in Canada, offering visitors a wide range of exotic travel experiences without having to leave the country.

The EnChroma partnership and campaign was developed by Cossette, Middle Child (for PR) and Jungle Media, and provides a new and unique way to tell a story about the beauty of the Northern Lights. The heartwarming human interest angle complements the larger feel-good program, showing how those with colourblindness can also enjoy the spectacle.

Basilio’s story is being pushed out through PR, paid media on key digital channels (Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube), and in cinemas. The story is also being featured on the Travel Yukon website, where visitors also learn about the 25% discount offer.

Travel Yukon regularly posts stories about life in the territory, but Basilio’s story and the partnership with EnChroma is a standalone project focused on the Northern Lights as a tourist attraction.

“With dynamic lights and fantastic hues of greens, purples and reds, the northern lights are one of Yukon’s most beautiful natural phenomena,” said Travel Yukon’s global marketing manager Robin Anderson in the release. “We are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with EnChroma to allow Russell to discover what makes the Yukon one of the best places in the world to experience incredible Northern Lights viewing.”

David Brown