Just steps from home

City of Edmonton

Project: Attraction Campaign

Featured in: Lürzer's Archive


Edmonton aimed to revitalize local leisure centers, increase attendance, and generate revenue post-COVID. These smaller facilities, primarily found in mature neighborhoods and known for their swimming pools, needed a clear message highlighting their unique advantages over larger, multi-purpose rec centers and other health and wellness options.

Gyms and fitness centres can sometimes be intimidating, making it feel less accessible and welcoming to the average person. But Edmonton leisure centres are different. They’re a community hub where people of all ages can enjoy activities, keeping fit, active and improving their overall wellness. Edmonton leisure centres are conveniently close to home and provide a sense of welcome the moment you walk in the doors.

We emphasized the proximity of leisure centres in our approach, aiming for a welcoming, inclusive message. We wanted to avoid intimidating "fitness model" imagery, so we used a bright, non-intimidating illustrative style to highlight the message that everyone is welcome and can be themselves. We also used wet footprint decals on nearby sidewalks as a creative activation strategy, directing people to the leisure centers as if they were a short walk from home.

Our media approach extended the proximity strategy, employing geo-targeted digital and hand-picked out-of-home placements in transit centers within walking distance of leisure centers. We devised a comprehensive media strategy, collaborating closely with the City's media agency to execute the campaign, supplying creative assets, and continuously optimizing performance.

The City’s initial goal was to return attendance and revenue at leisure centres to 2019 levels. This campaign went into market in the fall of 2022 after attendance rates were beginning to recover from the pandemic. Data provided by the City in fall 2023 shows that attendance and revenue have returned and then surpassed those 2019 levels. In addition, the creative we developed for this campaign received international recognition in Lürzer's Archive magazine.

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