When new Executive Director Viktoria Csanicz joined Attractions Victoria, her first order of business was revamping a beloved brand and reinvigorating its famous event Be A Local Tourist (formerly Be A Tourist In Your Own Hometown). For that, she hired BONE Creative. Douglas goes behind the scenes to learn the process involved in bringing a new vision to life.
What is Be a Local Tourist?
Be A Local Tourist is a five-day event at the end of February with the mission of getting most of the businesses in town to offer free or discounted services to locals. It’s one of my favorites because I deeply connect with its vision of giving back to the community. Introducing new businesses to the event in 2020 has been one of my main goals. Everyone is aware of the main attractions, but we want to make sure that small, up and coming businesses get in front of the local eyes as well.
Why did the event need a rebrand?
Be a Local Tourist is a 40-year-old event. It has gone through some minor changes during the years, but it lacked consistency. We didn’t have an Instagram, Facebook profile or an independent website. We took a deep breath and re-dreamed the whole vision and the event with a sustainable, digital forward-looking approach.
What was your goal and what sparked your vision?
I wanted to create a relatable, vibrant, fun, inviting brand. Just like Victoria, the city. I have a lot of friends that have been living here their entire lives. When we talked about their passion towards the city, it always had to do with the proximity to nature, the various outdoor activities, how much they love living close to the ocean, their love-hate relationship with the deer. I gained inspiration from them and incorporated into a beautiful vision for the event with a timeless look.
You’ll see that visually represented in our web and advertising design, with colors that represent the calmness of the ocean and importance of water in our ecosystem. I wanted to incorporate a few fun elements, or icons if you will in the branding – the biker, the deer, the lighthouse. They are all key characteristics of the city and its surroundings.
When we began imagining a new brand we didn’t want to focus on any one attraction or offering. Our intention was to highlight the beauty and uniqueness of our city, the inner harbour, our active biking community, the rugged west coast terrain, and the close proximity to nature, all with a fun, whimsical approach.
We decided upon a contemporary style that has a tactile human quality to it, with an aim to reflect the vibe of Vancouver Island, our local landmarks, and the Be a Local Tourist season of early spring in a playful way. We hope the look will resonate with locals for years to come.
We also enjoyed taking advantage of new technology to really add value for the participating locals and businesses. For the locals, we’ve created an Itinerary Builder so you can create your whole schedule for the event online and make sure you don’t miss a thing. Meanwhile, for business members we’re able to offer better insight on the customers that Be a Local Tourist brings them.
What were your challenges in creating a new brand?
Be a Local Tourist is for everyone so we had our work cut out for us creating a brand identity that would resonate with multiple demographics and represent Victoria, while presenting as fresh and playful.
What made the collaboration between Attractions Victoria and BONE Creative a success?
Viktoria and the Be a Local Tourist group were ready to make some bold changes and granted us a lot of creative freedom to play with ideas. We love the adventurous direction we landed on in the end.
How many participants are you expecting this year?
We think anywhere between 3000-5000 people will take advantage of the incredible discounts from the over 55 businesses signed up already. This is a pilot year with all the new experiences joining and the first year we are actively focusing on digital advertising and collecting data that we can build on next year to create an even better experience for people.
What can people expect from this year’s Launch, February 20 at Vancouver Island Brewery?
We’ll offer a great platform for business owners, the media, and other industry experts to network and spike interest in each other’s business. The Launch event will showcase some of the local breweries, distilleries, and even a local soul, r&b choir.
Be A Tourist runs February 27 to March 2 and features discounts on popular and new attractions, restaurants and retailers, all for the price of a $16 wristband. To learn more, visit www.beatourist.ca.