Nunavut’s first TV ad goes larger than life in New York13-foot commercial blasts walrus at 21 millio

13-foot commercial blasts walrus at 21 million viewers


Twenty-one million New Yorkers will have Nunavut Tourism to thank when they look up from hectic Times Square to find a peaceful image of a walrus basking on an ice floe, one of eight scenic shots that slowly dissolve into one another in Nunavut Tourism’s first television commercial.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” asks Maureen Bundgaard, executive director of Nunavut Tourism, as Nunatsiaq News was viewing the 30-second ad now playing on a 13-foot screen in downtown New York.

The ad appears on the Jumbotron, where it will play about 136 times over the next two weeks, and potentially reach about 21 million people.

Brian Webb, acting marketing director, says the ad is somewhat out of the ordinary for Nunavut Tourism, which spends most of its marketing budget placing ads in high-end magazines.

But the opportunity was too good to pass up.

Nunavut Tourism already targets the New York area, by working with travel writers and reporters, and by having a booth at the annual Adventure and Travel Expo, which attracts about 28,000 people each January.

“Our booth is one of the most visited at the show,” Webb said. “It’s not necessarily as large as some of the other locales, but Nunavut sells.”

This ad, Webb said, is a good way to make sure that it’s the first place some visit next year, when Nunavut Tourism, along with a few Nunavut outfitters again set up their booths.

Roughly 3,000 people visited Nunavut Tourism’s booth last year, about 10 per cent of which are “strong leads,” in other words, potential visitors.

Nunavut Tourism helps local outfitters attend through their consumer show assistance program, which covers some of the cost of getting to the show.

During an interview with Webb on Tuesday night, the hosts of CBC Radio’s national evening radio program, As it Happens, poked fun at the contrast between hectic New York and cold, dark Nunavut, but even that media exposure was likely a boon for Nunavut’s tourism industry.

Webb said he is also looking forward to Nunavut’s first visitor exit survey that the Government of Nunavut agreed to produce next year.

“We’ve been pushing for that for years,” Webb said.

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