How Zerotrillion and Alessia Cara revitalized Niagara Falls’ tourism industry

By Awards Analyst | The Drum Awards

June 20, 2022 | 3 min read

Zerotrillion and Niagara Falls Tourism won the Music and Entertainment category at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022. Here, we find out more about what went into their successful campaign.

The brief

Live music has long been a hallmark of Niagara Falls, Canada’s brand. In spring 2021, however, rolling lockdowns and a long-term event ban meant live music was a thing of the past.

To reinvigorate the destination’s music and entertainment industry, Niagara Falls Tourism – the body that promotes the destination – came to Zerotrillion with an idea to do something music-related and broadcast it on Canadian television. It aimed to give people something to look forward to and one Ontario broadcaster had already offered its 3pm Sunday slot, which was sure to earn 150,000 views.

It came to Zerotrillion with an open brief aimed at music association, with a not-so-ambitious benchmark of 150,000 views but an incredibly ambitious objective to reinvigorate the live music and entertainment industry.

The idea

Zerotrillion saw this opportunity as something much bigger than a traditional broadcast of a standard, live concert. It pitched Alessia Cara, an Ontario native and 2018 Grammy-winning Breakout Artist of the Year, to launch her new album from Niagara Falls, aligning her story of re-emergence with the destination’s return to live music and entertainment.

The program would center around an hour-long, made-for-TV special combining those musical numbers with interviews and closer looks around the Falls. But it would start with new music releases on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show and MTV’s global Fresh Out Live.

Zerotrillion recorded tracks from an iconic boat at the Falls, on rooftops overlooking Clifton Hill, from a stage suspended just below the surface of a beautiful pond in Oakes Garden Theater and many more spots that had never been featured quite like this. This was a music-driven entertainment piece, built for the at-home viewer.

Alessia Cara Live from Niagara Falls - Case Summary from Zerotrillion on Vimeo.

The results

Zerotrillion had multiple channels in Canada and the US competing for the special. Rogers City TV released the special in prime time, nationally. The hit singles that had been recorded were picked up and broadcast on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show and MTV’s Fresh Out Live. Robust PR support saw the programming promoted by Etalk, Rolling Stone, 60Minutes, The Toronto Star and many more. And online it was released on Cara’s own YouTube to her 4.28 million fans.

The content earned Niagara Falls music and entertainment industry 240.7m impressions, reaching 98m households, gaining 61.7m impressions in press coverage, 92.5m social media impressions and amassing nearly a million direct online video views, earning over $4m in equivalent paid media value and reaching far beyond local audiences, to the rest of Canada, the US and around the world.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022. You can see all the winners here.

And check out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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