The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Canada's Heart is Calling

Entered in Brand Awareness Campaign


As Travel Manitoba looked to recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic in 2021, the organization knew its seven-year-old brand, Manitoba, Canada’s Heart…Beats, needed to evolve. That year, Travel Manitoba engaged Stormy Lake Consulting to assess the brand’s equity, determine how it resonates with customers in our target markets and evaluate the relevance of its mission, vision and promise. The research showed that the current brand was very appealing but not necessarily distinct in its tourism offering. What came to light is that the portrayal of our iconic experiences needed an emotional connection—something that moved our travellers to feel part of the place they are visiting and to carry a piece of that place with them long after they leave.  

These findings led Travel Manitoba to engage with a local marketing agency—UpHouse Inc.—to refresh and evolve the Manitoba, Canada’s Heart…Beats brand. On January 9, 2023, a refreshed brand was announced at a local industry event and to the world through print, digital and social advertising. Canada’s Heart is Calling harnesses the emotional impact of Manitoba’s most awe-inspiring assets and focuses on the experiences and activities that our target audiences are most interested in.


Through UpHouse’s research, it was clear that the way Travel Manitoba reaches consumers today also needed to evolve, leading us to invest significantly in video to communicate the refreshed brand. 

Travel Manitoba developed a video series around key brand messages to speak to travellers who are interested in immersing themselves in the cultures and traditions of the places they visit. The organization uses Destination Canada’s Explorer Quotient (EQ) tool to segment audiences based on travel behaviour and motivation to travel. Authentic Experiencers and Cultural Explorers are interested in Manitoba’s diverse outdoor and cultural experiences. These are the types of travellers attracted to what Manitoba has to offer and are the top segments Travel Manitoba targets with its advertising and marketing.  

In order to evoke the emotions we want travellers to feel when they come to Manitoba, UpHouse developed a new heart-messaging framework for all of Travel Manitoba’s advertising and marketing. The framework ties the new tagline together with a strong emphasis on how we feel when we travel, resulting in the “When your heart needs to race, to sing, to reflect or when your heart needs quiet” messaging. For each “heart word”, a brand video was developed resulting in five core brand commercials. Each video was supported with music from a local Manitoban artist. The main brand commercials were also produced in French to reach Manitoba’s bilingual and Francophone community. 

A second set of videos was created with user generated content (UGC) sourced directly from local Manitobans wanting to share their love for the province. These UGC videos were produced specifically for social media in a vertical format and published as YouTube Shorts.

To further spread the word about the refreshed brand, Travel Manitoba embarked on an earned media campaign. Media releases in English and French were distributed to local, national and international media to spread the word about our new slogan, Canada’s Heart is Calling, and the evolved brand. 

Additionally, we launched a brand awareness campaign utilizing print, OOH, digital and social media advertising as well as local activations to increase awareness. The brand commercials aired on local television outlets and in movie theatres. The new “Manitoba” logo was carved into the side of the World’s Largest Snow Maze located in St. Adolphe, Manitoba. 

To round out our brand awareness campaign, Travel Manitoba launched a new merchandise program that included collaborations with local makers. We invited residents and visitors to “wear their love” for Manitoba as a shirt, sweater, toque, cap and tote bag. The local makers contributed a unique ceramic mug with the “Manitoba” logo stamped on the bottom, a speciality key chain and a Manitoba-inspired gin. 


Travel Manitoba’s earned media campaign garnered over $1,114 million in online and print publicity and reached nearly 150 million people through online and print and an additional 7,500 through radio. Through Cision Newswire, we reached a 56.6 million total potential audience and 34 clippings. 

Online news sites and other influencers were the biggest source of coverage at 51.5% followed by blogs at 15.2% and trade publications at 9.1%.  News outlets in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, the United States and Germany all picked up the news of Travel Manitoba’s new brand. Overall, the news sentiment was highly positive!

Additionally, we launched a brand awareness campaign generating 26.8 impressions through digital and social media advertising as well as 40,119 clicks on posts, 1.8 million video views and more than 500,000 website visits during the course of the four-week campaign. 

Since launching the campaign, Travel Manitoba’s brand has been recognized by several awards competitions including as a finalist in the World Media Awards up against London, Whales and Abu Dhabi in the Travel & Tourism Category and winners of the Hermes Awards and Communicator Awards.



Video for Canada's Heart is Calling

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Travel Manitoba