Love is Welcome Here

A marketing campaign aimed at welcoming LGBTQ visitors to Greater Victoria has won gold at an international competition for advertising and PR professionals.

“Love is Welcome Here,” created by Hothouse Marketing and Tourism Victoria, won gold in the Integrated Marketing Campaign category at the Hermes Creative Awards in April. The campaign was chosen out of more than 6,000 entries from around the globe.

“To be successful in marketing a destination, you need to stand out and drive an emotional connection with the customer,” says Tourism Victoria’s president and CEO Paul Nursey.

Tourism Victoria approached Hothouse to create a campaign targeting the LGBTQ community and encouraging them to share their experiences through various digital channels. They created a map — believed to be the first of its kind in the world — of gender-neutral washrooms in Greater Victoria. The campaign marketing was executed mostly online through programmatic advertising, with outdoor advertising in select markets.

“We were inspired by a story we heard when we attended a LGBTQ Healthy Saanich Sub-Committee meeting in the spring,” says Nursey. “A transgendered person told us she walks 15 minutes from her work to the local Starbucks because she doesn’t feel comfortable going to the bathroom at work. The gender-neutral-bathroom map was her idea, but Hothouse ran with it.”

The “Love is Welcome Here” campaign is live at