Experience This

 Branding Place As a Whole, to Drive Tourism, Quality of Life and the Economy  

The This Is Living positioning was envisioned to be extendable to a wide range of applications, for example:

  • This Is Dining
  • This Is Espresso
  • This Is Skiing
  • This Is Working

Standing Out

By Staying True

Peterborough & the Kawarthas (P/K) aspired to become a “premier ranked” tourist destination brand.

Relatively untouched by the kind of contemporary development enjoyed by Collingwood, Georgian Bay, Muskoka and Prince Edward Country, the P/K  combined:

  • The heritage manufacturing town of Peterborough
  • The cottage country of the Kawarthas
  • A rich agricultural belt

To many eyes, the unimproved nature of its assets made P/K less competitive than popular cottaging and playground destinations. Its tourism branding and communications reflected a bygone era, but without the warm glow of nostalgia. As a result, few people outside the P/K understood all the area had to offer.

Further, P/K’s manufacturing base had been eroded by global tranformational forces. The area as a whole needed a boost. Not by tourism alone.  It also needed to attract new residents and businesses who would inject vitality into P/K’s civic and commercial life.

Where to start?

A big reason why P/K lagged behind other destinations was the resistant culture of the residents. They simply did not want to become another Blue Mountain/Collingwood, however much that might inject growth into the area. They fought hard to maintain their unspoiled way of life.

Our eureka moment was the recognition that apparent liabilities of P/K’s unimproved assets and resistance to change could be a way to positivity differentiate the P/K experience from competitive locales. In contrast to slick, built-up destinations, we could present Peterborough & the Kawarthas as unspoiled and authentic,  yet rich in cultural and recreational opportunities.

The “This is Living” slogan reflected such genuine experiences, addressing the visitor as well as the resident. It allowed us to present P/K’s voice as a kind of knowing anti-brand. The slogan could also function as a litmus test for decisions and development, so that P/K could remain true to itself while growing. 

The mosaic identity help illustrate the four-season variety of assets, without having to say a word. The wordmark was designed to help manage the long name and express the distinct urban and outdoors aspects of the experience.

The Team

Client Services, Strategy and Creative Direction: Susan McGibbon, Chemistry

Strategy, Positioning, Copy and Creative Insights: Harry Cornelius, Sideren, Inc.

Design: Ed Shikatani and Ken Hui, Shikatani Creative