Although the Canadian and U.S. RV industries are closely aligned, Go RVing Canada – an offshoot of North America’s 18-year-old Go RVing Coalition’s market expansion program – opted three years ago to develop its own advertising creative for promoting the RV lifestyle north of the border.
And those involved in Go RVing Canada’s early April board meeting in Toronto report that their latest creative initiative, a video based on a “Bring Back Wildhood” theme released earlier this year, has been well received by an impressive number of Canada’s 36 million residents. (To view the video click here).
“Yes, we’ve had tremendous feedback from consumers who have visited and sent comments in on the Go RVing site, as well as our dealer body,” reported Eleonore Hamm, president of RVDA of Canada, whose members, along with representatives of the manufacturing-centric Canadian RV Association (CRVA), comprise the board of Go RVing Canada. “The dealers are very happy with the creative and the materials that they’ve received from the tie-in program.”
Toronto-based Chris Mahony, executive director of Go RVing Canada, also likes what he sees in the initial response to the kid-focused “Wildhood” video ad, an English and French advertisement appealing to “the adventure in everybody.” Filmed over three days in December with a fairly large crew out of British Columbia, the video focuses on a “kids’ mantra” in which youngsters seek to reclaim their, ah, “Wildhood.”
Wildhood, for the uninitiated, is a play on the words “Wilderness” and “Childhood.”
“I think the group itself (Go RVing Canada) is just really proud and very happy with the work that we’ve done towards Wildhood,” said Mahony. “We’ve started to see some results from the campaign for the first time now. We launched it in March and we were discussing a lot of these results and they’re hugely favorable for us right now. Consumers have been reaching out to us, and to the vendors at Go RVing to talk about the appeal of our campaign and some of the work that we’ve been doing.
“Within one month we have seen around 30 million responses, which for Canada is pretty good,” Mahony said of the campaign, which launched online in February and runs for 15 weeks to suit a marketplace that, due to weather, is very seasonal. “And we’ve seen a number of articles about the campaign. We’ve been front page on some big newspapers up here, including the Globe and Mail and the National Post — results that we’ve frankly never seen before.”
So, what really motivated development of a Canada-specific “Wildhood” campaign versus the “Away”-themed initiative developed in the U.S. by the Go RVing Coalition’s Dallas-based agency, the Richards Group, and administered by RVIA?
The main motive, Canadian industry spokesmen told RVBUSINESS.com, is the quest to better appeal to a younger – and subtly different — Canadian audience even as Go RVing Canada continues to work in close partnership with its U.S. counterparts on several levels as it has since the Go RVing Coalition’s inception in 1997.
Bottom line, the coalition, through its assessment on RVIA seal fees, remains Go RVing Canada’s chief funding source for its campaign, which is budgeted in 2015 at about $3.7 million ($3.9 million Canadian) as one facet of an overall North American Go RVing campaign that’s expected to total about $15 million in 2015 expenditures.