Downtown BIZ’s #finditdowntown Initiative Wins ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’


May 30, 2016


Downtown Winnipeg – Today, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s marketing campaign – #finditdowntown – was honoured by more than 200 industry experts at the Winnipeg Tourism Awards of Distinction as Marketing Campaign of the Year (over $2,500).

“Downtown is a vibrant area where the city’s most compelling experiences happen,” says Jason Syvixay, Managing Director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, who accepted the award on behalf of the BIZ. “The #finditdowntown campaign captures a feeling of discovery, of an insider sharing the secrets the locals know about places to go and things to do with captivating visuals of downtown’s distinct experiences and a playful interactive component.”

He added: “Yoga in the air. Whiskey tastings with a 360 degree view. Fine dining on the river. Walk up burger and fries. Made to order custom suits. Lobster poutine. Take me out to the ball game. These unique things to do can only be found downtown, and the #finditdowntown marketing campaign invites locals and tourists to discover them.”

#finditdowntown marketing goals:

  • To motivate Winnipeggers to dine, shop, and attend events downtown
  • To position downtown as a vibrant, emerging district
  • To drive traffic to the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s website and social media accounts where there is more information about downtown experiences

#finditdowntown tactics:

  • Traditional/online advertising
  • Street level advertising
  • Website redevelopment
  • Social media
  • Contesting


The campaign targets suburbanites, encouraging them to dine, shop, and drink before and after a Winnipeg Jets game, a concert, or an outdoor festival. The campaign’s secondary target audience are downtown users, workers, residents, students, culture vultures, and tourists.

A $25,000 billboard/transit campaign in January and February of 2015 highlighted activities with a winter focus featuring the world’s longest naturally frozen river, The Forks Red River Mutual Trail and winter patios. Advertising in the spring/summer focused on patios and events like Yoga in the Park, and Table for 1,200. Since the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ hosts its own signature events that are unique to the heart of the city, all of its marketing materials adopted and promoted the #finditdowntown hashtag, furthering its visibility.

The #finditdowntown campaign supported the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ in its marketing efforts for 138 events from June to August. The wide assortment of marketing collateral helped to attract nearly 50,040 visits to the downtown – with people enjoying outdoor movie screenings, yoga and Zumba at some of downtown’s most cherished green spaces, and noon-hour concerts, in addition to the Downtown BIZ’s popular downtown tours which hosted visitors from Winnipeg, rural Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the United States, weekly farmers’ markets, and Canada Day Living Flag event, which reclaimed its national title as the “Largest Living Flag” in Canada. The hashtag #finditdowntown served as a useful inventory of ideas of things to do for tourists and locals visiting the city’s centre. The hashtag is an instant walk throughout the downtown – a virtual tour of the assets that make downtown unique.


Campaign achievements:

  • A #finditdowntown sleigh ride tour highlighted downtown attractions with the media
  • 2 permanent billboards located in Forks North Portage’s parkades were installed, targeting concert-goers and hockey-fans, serving as a reminder to stay downtown before and after the game
  • 10,000 keychains and mailer
  • Inclusion of #finditdowntown in 10,000 Downtown Tours brochures, 40,000 ManyFest program guides, 10,000 Downtown Cinema brochures
  • Over 40 participating businesses
  • Ad placements in The Hub, Art & Soul at the WAG, Tourism Winnipeg’s Pin It to Win It, Metro, Winnipeg Free Press, and CTV
  • Contesting at 10 Downtown Cinema outdoor movie screenings
  • Curated a #finditdowntown photo gallery as part of FLASH Photography Festival, with a monthly attendance of 500 people
  • Average social media impressions: 681,039 (highest – 1,604,033)
  • Average weekly posts: 256 (highest – 611)
  • Advertisements placed: 25 transit boards, 15 billboards, and 10 downtown digital boards
  • 7,000 photos submitted by the community on Instagram
  • Partnerships formed with Tourism Winnipeg, Chair Your Idea, Winnipeg Pass, FLASH Photography Festival, Art & Soul at the WAG, The Hub, and CBC Music 4 Lunch
  • Change in perceptions of downtown (nearly 40% of those who attended BIZ events noted the events/marketing changed their perception of downtown for the better)

Boosted Economic Spending Downtown with Tourism Winnipeg Partnership

A partnership between Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and Tourism Winnipeg aimed to drive more visits to downtown restaurants and retail. As part of the BIZ’s marketing campaign – #finditdowntown – all convention-goers coming to the city in 2015 received exclusive access to discounts and unique experiences downtown with a special lanyard in 2015. 10,000 Winnipeggers also received custom keychains by mail granting them year-round access to these promotions. For a list of participating businesses, visit:

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For more information, contact:
Emily Ormonde, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
(204) 958-4626;