A Q&A with Shannon Szucs, Senior Manager, Global Marketing on the new Destination Toronto holiday marketing campaign, 6ix Weeks of Celebrations.

Destination Toronto’s 2022 holiday marketing campaign aims to help visitors and locals feel the spirit of the season – that spending time together over a delicious meal or visiting a cool attraction is, in of itself, something to celebrate.

Terminal editor Kathy Motton spoke with Shannon Szucs, Senior Manager, Global Marketing to learn more about the new holiday campaign, 6ix Weeks of Celebrations.

Tell me about the new campaign 6ix Weeks of Celebrations? What exactly is the campaign about and what can we expect to see?

This year’s campaign was developed to inspire and motivate locals and visitors to celebrate all that this city has to offer during the holiday season. Showcasing Toronto’s unique and diverse offerings, 6ix Weeks of Celebrations features a broad variety of Toronto experiences from across the city – cocktails on a heated patio, hot cocoa by an ice rink, twinkling lights and holiday windows – it’s a celebration of the magic of Toronto when the snow starts to fall and folks get into the spirit of the season. 

An activation with Stackt’s Holiday Hills market begins on November 18th, while the strategic paid media campaign and festive organic content launches November 8th – with a focus on experiences, attractions, dining, hotels and much merrymaking.

There is something really special about Toronto during the holidays. Can you share more about 6ix Weeks of Celebrations and how it hopes to capture that?

Toronto is a welcoming, magnetic city year-round, but the vibrancy and charm of the holiday season is pure magic. Known for our diversity and multicultural communities, there is so much to experience and celebrate. From neighbourhood holiday festivities to a breadth of culinary delights to bright, illuminated streets, it's proof that there is something fun to do and celebrate every day at this time of year, regardless of which holiday you celebrate. 

Beyond the celebration, the campaign highlights the opportunity to experience the wonder and excitement of iconic Toronto attractions. Locals and visitors are encouraged to download our free Pass TO Savings and enjoy holiday offers and up to 20% off at some of our most popular attractions like Little Canada, The Aga Khan museum, the Ontario Science Centre and more.

How is 6ix Weeks of Celebrations different from last year’s Never Have I Ever Holiday Joy List?

Building on the incredible success of our 2021 Never Have I Ever (NHIE) summer campaign for the holiday season a few months later was a natural fit and within our marketing strategy – to challenge the perceptions of those familiar with Toronto, to explore the city in a new way.

This year we wanted to continue to excite that audience – but also to inspire a broader audience – through an alignment with our editorial calendar, better integrating the city’s holiday offerings on our owned and paid channels. Through our paid, owned and earned media strategies, we are targeting hyperlocals along with our drive markets including Ottawa, Montreal, and Kingston. We are expanding on the learnings from previous campaigns and leaning into strategies that encourage deeper engagement with our content. For example, leveraging and testing more social influencers with stronger engagement rates and partnering with Tripadvisor, Narcity and Daily Hive to curate custom narratives to target audience segments. 

What is the goal of the campaign and how do you hope to see consumers and businesses in Toronto interact with it?

The goal of 6ix Weeks of Celebrations  is to influence travel decisions for the holiday season for our drive markets and to encourage Torontonians to get out and explore and celebrate the city in more ways this season. We want locals and visitors to engage with the campaign across our paid and owned content, and to visit our activation at Stackt’s Holiday Hills market. We also want to inspire engagement, downloads, and usage of the free Pass TO Savings, supporting our visitor economy. If your business would like to learn more about how to participate in the Pass TO Savings program, please reach out to Nancy Hall at nhall@destinationtoronto.com.

What activities do you plan to participate in during the celebrations? Is there anything you’re super excited about?

I think for me personally, I am looking forward to connecting again during this season with my family and making those core holiday memories with my young son that we didn’t get a chance to do these past couple of years. The Santa Claus parade, exploring Casa Loma and of course shopping at The Distillery Winter Village. Happy holidays everyone – get out there and make magical memories!