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Through surveys and speaking with colleagues about Stratford, local tourism officials discovered one word – serious – kept coming up.
“Serious architecture and serious heritage and serious art,” Stratford Tourism Alliance executive director Lori DeGraw said Thursday. “It’s something that we appreciate and love about the city, but what is new to a lot of people who don’t live here and aren’t familiar with it is the energy of these different themes and that there’s a youthful, really modern, interesting arts and culinary and music scene.”
This notion inspired the organization’s #StratfordAlwaysOn campaign, a fun and whimsical hybrid between storytelling and advertising focusing on five themes, she said. The first arts-themed video called Innovation and Boundless Creativity – it can be viewed here: bit.ly/2sjnvIX – was released just over a month ago. It was viewed almost 100,000 times by their target audience, DeGraw said.
“And, unlike many videos, almost all people watch it all the way to the end,” she said.
The latest entry in the five-part series will be released Monday, shifting the spotlight to food.
“It’s a very fun video,” DeGraw said. “We’re really looking forward to sharing it and getting some feedback.”
The remaining three topics include music, play – “I’ve already seen a cut on this one and I think it’ll have a fun surprise in it for locals and out-of-town visitors,” DeGraw said – and a compilation summarizing the city as a whole. The impending edition won’t focus on specific restaurants, businesses or chefs, but on the overall culinary scene, she said.
All five themes will have stylistic and thematic similarities throughout, she said. Toronto-based Blackwater Media was responsible for the entire project, from coming up with the creative concepts through to executing them.
“They were very good about finding that common thread between all of the videos that will be released,” DeGraw said.
Different lengths will be distributed through various platforms, including social media and TV broadcasts.
The province helped pay for the project.