Pete Pallett Writes

Canadian Tourism Commission

Brand Tone Guidelines (Excerpts):

A brand is a symbol, mark, logo, name, word, sentence or combination of these that companies use to distinguish their product. In our case, Canada is the Brand. “Keep Exploring” is the tagline.

The Brand Canada Promise is what the consumer can expect from the brand. Ours is: When you come to Canada, you can create your own unique and extraordinary personal experiences. We call these “wow” experiences.

The Brand Personality is confident, youthful, modern and upbeat. Evocative and beautiful. Friendly but witty. Intriguing. Idealistic and compassionate. Creative, unexpected, honest. Free. 

Our audience is the curious traveller. We are talking to people who believe in participating in life, not sitting on the sidelines; people who are inquisitive, who want to learn about themselves and the world around them.

The Brand Tone of Voice is informal and personal, intimate and revealing, straightforward and concise. Writing in the Brand Tone is like telling a story to a good friend. It’s a conversation, speaking traveller to traveller.

The underlying message:
… to explore.
… to be yourself.
… to experience Canada in a personal way.

Your exploration could be a series of encounters, moments in which you create memories by doing things that spark your imagination and ignite your passion. Canada enables you to try new things, hang out with people you never thought you would, find yourself speaking French, discover something new, gain perspective and knowledge. You will be more than you were before.

How would you write in the Brand tone of voice?

It’s about feeling. This is not factual downloading, it’s personal. Tell what the mind is sensing, not what the body is doing. Traditional destination marketing rattles off a grocery list of activities, places and events, in hopes of connecting with the traveller. Now, we’re providing a launchpad for unique life experiences. Any place can offer buildings and mountains and oceans. It’s how the experience of being in our country makes you feel that distinguishes us from every other travel destination.

Keep it light. This isn’t poetry. Let’s have fun. Sprinkle your text with some signature Canadian humour and wit; i.e., “My first mistake was thinking I could use a sea cucumber in a salad.”

Take the reader with you! The reader needs to feel as if he is in the place with you, and believe it:
What does the beach in Tofino smell like? 
What do the Prairies sound like?
What does a tourtière taste like in Montréal on Christmas Eve?
What does a forest slug feel like? 

Know the place you’re describing.
Don’t fake it. Do your research. Get on the phone. Read a blog. Talk to the locals. Get on an airplane. See it with your own eyes. Blend knowledge with personality, insight with passion, confidence with a fresh, optimistic perspective. 

Get to the point early. 
This is Canada. We don’t ramble on here — unless we’re in a pub in Newfoundland. That’s a whole other story.

Scope: Creation of Brand Tone, Writing of Brand Style Guidelines
In Collaboration With: karacters design group
For: Canadian Tourism Commission