Warm-weather Florida Keys scenes are saturating commuters' senses in frigid Toronto this month and a similar tourism campaign is set for cold Chicago in February using a $465,000 marketing commitment by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.
The two transit-station campaigns evolved out of a similar train station domination promotion staged during the winters of 2012 and 2013 in New York City's Penn Station.
Today's high in Toronto is expected to be 14 degrees. In Chicago today, it's expected to be 18 degrees. In Marathon, the high is projected at an unseasonably cool 64 degrees -- still much warmer than the two northern regions, and most of North America.
In Toronto's Union Station, the region's primary rail and intercity transportation hub, there are more than 100 different ads including floor graphics, door decals, column wraps, wall murals and video walls.
Some messaging is specifically targeted to the market with headlines such as "More fights than a Maple Leafs-Canadiens game" at the top of a photograph showing an angler casting in the Keys backcountry. Or "It's 25 degrees warmer and 180 degrees cooler" on a large floor graphic showing a woman paddleboarder.
"Commuters are tired of the cold and are ready for a unique Florida Keys vacation," said John Underwood, chief marketing officer at Tinsley Advertising, the TDC's advertising agency that created the campaign. "We know we have a captive audience that craves the beauty and warmth of our destination, especially during chilly winter months."
Underwood said the campaigns are expected to reach more than 5 million people in Toronto and about 3.3 million people in Chicago's Citigroup/Ogilvie station that connects commuters from the north, west and northwest suburbs to the downtown business district. Chicago's campaign will have some 100 elements.