Request for Proposal: Branded Content Marketing and Contest Development to Target International Markets


Explorers’ Edge Request for Proposal: Branded Content Marketing and Contest Development to Target International Markets November 2015

The Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture created 13 Regional Tourism Organizations (RTOs) in the province to identify and implement regional priorities, allowing for more consistent marketing of Ontario’s tourism regions. The RTO12 area includes Algonquin Park, the Almaguin Highlands, Loring-Restoule, Muskoka and Parry Sound.

RTO12 is a not-for-profit agency that is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The mandate for RTO12 includes: providing industry leadership and strategic planning, developing strong, collaborative partnerships and packages, marketing, developing the workforce and skills training.

RTO12 is the administrative name for the region that is known in the consumer marketplace as Explorers’ Edge.

Explorers’ Edge programs will fuel the new brand with meaning, create awareness, and have measurable components while driving retails sales to our stakeholders.

For more information on Ontario’s 13 Regional Tourism Organizations, visit

Executive Summary

Explorers’ Edge is seeking a qualified organization or individual to assume a Project Management role for the organization to development and implement our International Markets Plan.

Specific components of the plan this role will be responsible for are the development and promotion of branded content, and the development and implementation of a branded contest in the UK and the US.

With the International Markets Plan, Explorers’ Edge intends to target the Canadian diaspora in Britain (approximately 80K people) and the USA (approximately 1 million people) in order to ignite the passion for our home and native land that indubitably converts this audience into natural ambassadors of the Canadian brand in their new countries. (The recent popularity of the documentary “Being Canadian” by film maker Robert Cohen testifies to this passionate affinity for our “Canadianism”).

The Strategy:

Instead of trying to convince the broader general British and American populations that Ontario, Canada is a great place to travel to (which would take an enormous budget), over the course of the project Explorers’ Edge will target ex-pat Canadians living in the UK and the US to awaken their sense of pride in all things Canadian so that they will become fierce ambassadors for and genuine promoters of the Explorers’ Edge brand, which also happens to epitomize our collective cultural affinity with “the great Canadian wilderness.”

With branded content marketing building interest in the Canadian wilderness just north of Toronto, and a contest encouraging ex-pats to enter their connections in their new countries into the “See For Yourself My Friend” contest [working title only] to win a trip to the Explorers’ Edge region, the expected outcome of the plan is that Explorers’ Edge will create new international audiences for the region and will position this part of Ontario as offering the quintessential Canadian wilderness experience to international visitors. (Ex-pats who nominate a friend to win a trip to Explorers’ Edge will also be nominated to win their own visit to this region – a trip home to Canada).

Considering that the Canadian diaspora population in the US and the UK is over 1,000,000 people, if we reach only .5% of this audience and have them enter one friend in the contest (by requiring email info), we would have a list of 5,000 international travelers to commence ongoing lead nurturing strategies to build travel conversions.  By igniting the ex-pats’ pride in Canada, we will be able to spread their (and our) passion for our country, and will hopefully, thereby, ignite awareness and desire in their friends and acquaintances to visit Canada – and in particular, the Explorers’ Edge region.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the RTO12 Director of Communications and working as part of a greater marketing team, the Project Management role acts as the quarterback for the optimal development and execution of the Explorers’ Edge International Markets Plan.

The measurable economic benefits of the project include:

  • Increase in long-haul visitors to the Explorers’ Edge region
  • Increase in extended stays in the Explorers’ Edge region
  • Increase in room night occupancy in the Explorers’ Edge region

Other measurable benefits that relate to the project include:

  • International consumer list creation for further and ongoing lead nurturing activities
  • Building of interest in the region, in Ontario, and in Canada as a preferred and branded destination in 2016, but also for 150th birthday celebrations in 2017
  • The development of specific region-wide itineraries and packages (part of a complementary RFP)


The purpose of this RFP is to have the successful proponent show how they would develop and implement the following:

  • Organization of and implementation of multiple components of the plan, including sourcing and liaising with creative resources and digital support, media trafficking, budget oversight (with the Director of Communications), results tracking, and quality assurance.

The expected deliverable from this RFP will be a proposal for how to bring the multiple components of the plan together for execution in the marketplace.

Click here to download the full Explorers’ Edge Request for Proposal: Branded Content Marketing and Contest Development to Target International Markets November 2015


What is the budget – it is in the range of 75k – 100k