Boosting Island beaches: P.E.I.-made videos making a splash on social media
'One of the criteria for us was to show 50 beaches, so how do you do that?'
The beaches of eastern P.E.I. are the star of a new series of videos promoting tourism in the eastern part of the Island.
The videos have become a hit on social media, much to the delight of the Island company that produced them.
"One of the criteria for us was to show 50 beaches, so how do you do that?" said Craig Harris, owner of Furrow Creative, based in Summerside, P.E.I.
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Harris and his team created five different storylines, three of which have been rolled out on social media so far.
Viewers around the world
"We've had over 200,000 views on the videos within the last two months so we're really excited just to see that people are connecting with them," said Harris.
"We're getting notes from as far away as Mexico, California, Japan, Germany, who are commenting on how amazing our place looks."
'Massive collection of beaches'
Points East Coastal Drive went through a rebranding two years ago and now markets itself as 50beaches.com.
"One of the things we realized is that we have is a massive collection of beaches all in one area," said Mike Robertson, who's the chair of the Island East Tourism Board group, as well as marketing manager for Rodd Hotels & Resorts.
They initially cut off the count at 50 beaches, but have now brought the total up to 72 in eastern P.E.I.
The tourism group wanted to reach couples, families and seniors, among other target groups.
They were more than impressed with the end result.
"We were completely blown away," said Robertson.
"They're visually stunning, the quality is some of the best I've seen in tourism videos."
Made in P.E.I.
Robertson is also pleased that the videos have been produced by a team of homegrown talent.
"That's something we wanted from the onset was to have a P.E.I. company," said Robertson.
"We did look at companies off Island originally, but I think having somebody from P.E.I., I think they really have a better sense of what this place is about and how special it is."
'We don't need any gimmicks'
Harris is proud that the entire campaign was created by a team based on P.E.I.
"This really is a story told by the people from here, for here and to me that makes it really special," he said.
"There's no one better to tell a story from here than the people who live here and love P.E.I."
He said it's a project he believes in, and wanted to show that a P.E.I.-based company could pull it off.
"We don't need any gimmicks, we have everything you need to draw people here," said Harris.
"If we start telling our stories, if we start sharing our places, people are going to come."
Helping the campaign has been a contest on social media where people can win an overnight stay at a resort in eastern P.E.I.
"It's been a really effective way at just knowing that we're engaging with an audience," said Harris.
Robertson and the Island East group are monitoring shares on social media and downloads of the 50beaches.com app. The group will also be talking to visitors this summer.
"Really it's going to come down to the tourism indicators year, just to see visitation in the region," said Robertson.
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