This year the Fishing and Hunting marketing plan is reaching out beyond its traditional market to a broader group of nature-loving travelers. The campaign is now moving into high gear, with an NHL hockey promotion and ads in geo-targeted lifestyle magazines.
"Economic conditions in the U.S. have reduced the spending power of our core market, so it was time to appeal to a different type of customer - the type of traveler who seeks out wilderness experiences but who has perhaps never fished or hunted," explained Fish/Hunt consultant Shel Zolkewich.
"You can see the approach reflected in the TV spot, which shows that the appeal of a northern lodge goes beyond big fish."
The strategy was presented to the industry at the Fish/Hunt Summit last April, and the final ads and promotions were shared at the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association convention in December.
The ad campaign is investing heavily in three high-potential markets - Minneapolis, Wisconsin and Chicago. It kicks off in February with print ads in lifestyle magazines, and a run of TV commercials on CBS-Chicago during the popular Amazing Race and Survivor series.
Alignment with pro hockey is another important part of the plan. With radio ads voiced by the legendary Bobby Hull, the hockey promotion is capitalizing on the long-standing rivalry between the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks. The ads direct listeners to a website where they can enter for a chance to win a $10,000 fishing trip for two at Gangler's North Seal River Lodge. Online ads on jets.nhl.com and blackhawks.nhl.com will round out the mix.