After a two-year hiatus, how do you relaunch one of Vancouver's most beloved holiday events?
Since 2010, the Vancouver Christmas Market has delighted locals and visitors with authentic German-inspired festivities. The yuletide celebration creates the ideal atmosphere to mix and mingle with friends and family and indulge in various cultural activities, old world confections, and seasonal entertainment. The Market was a wholly unique challenge for the Kipling team. We quickly acclimatized to the fast-paced nature of event marketing on a tight timeline, having only three months to prepare, organize, and execute our ideas and campaigns.
The result? Cohesive multi-channel marketing, PR, and event management strategies leading to the Market’s most successful year to date.
Spread awareness of the Market's return
through a multi-channel event marketing strategy
Reinvent the Market's image
through colourful and personable branding across all platforms
Drive market traffic
to recreate the Market's patented holiday spirit
Spreading Holiday Cheer
As the Vancouver Christmas Market is already a staple of the Vancouver community, our main objective was to turn it into a holiday spectacle through its branding, visitor experience, social presence, and website experience. To do so, we needed to increase awareness of the Market in the Greater Vancouver Area through a targeted mix of print, radio, TV, digital, and out-of-home marketing channels.
Naturally, we believed that the key to bringing attention to the Market was to drive online time slot ticket sales through paid online media. With an emphasis on creating exciting visuals tailored for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, we could connect with multiple demographics. Through an integrated PR and media buying strategy, the Market featured on several platforms, including Global TV, Daily Hive, Georgia Straight, Z95.3, 104.3 The Breeze, Move 103.5 Vancouver, and Vancouver Is Awesome, among others.
Getting Into The Christmas Spirit
We believed that the Market had a significant opportunity to reinvent itself on social media. Our strategy revolved around highlighting the beautiful moments of the Market, both day and night. So, improving the production value of Market content through improved in-house photography, video, and content creation became essential. Assembling a consistent brand presence became imperative to our goal. We implemented a supplementary brand toolkit into digital, print, and out-of-home advertising, our online presence, and at the Market. Additionally, integrating Market vendors into our strategy was a highlight in engaging our audience.
We used social media to showcase the Market’s food, drink, activities, and key messaging, generating significant exposure. Leading up to the Market’s return, we crafted a three-phase strategy to capitalize on consumer hype:
- During the pre-market phase, our goal was to build hype for the Market and generate ticket sales through teasers and sneak peeks, informative posts, plus sales and promotions for holidays and engagement contests.
- During our market lead-up and opening phase, our goal was to show people why they should return to the Market and drive sales before the Christmas season, showcasing the Market’s special features and new aspects while highlighting the visitors’ experience.
- During our in-market phase, our goal was to frequently post various content on all channels to generate excitement and capitalize on Christmas hype to drive traffic to the Market.
- Our mid-market strategy involved daily sharing of user-generated content, frequent on-site posting, an active presence on Twitter, and leveraging social media to communicate key messages for promotions and special events.
Watching The Magic Happen
Overall reach from all marketing channels
Instagram follower growth
We surpassed all our goals by a wide margin with our ability to adapt and deliver on the fly. Not only did we sell a record number of tickets, but the Market was also a massive success in terms of online exposure. We grew all social media profiles extensively, most notably the Market’s Instagram following, increasing the account by 70.7%.
The Vancouver Christmas Market was our biggest event management challenge yet, and it is safe to say our team made the nice list for next year!