The unique Neighbourhoods of Bridgwater in Winnipeg’s southwest quadrant is comprised of single and multi-family homes amidst a carefully planned development offering plenty of green spaces. The provincial government, the developer of Bridgwater, decided it was time to sell the remaining lots in the area and put the funds back into Manitoba Housing and the 19 homebuilders associated with Bridgwater wanted to sell their inventories. To accomplish this, both groups wanted a multi-faceted large campaign to sell the idea of living in Bridgwater, highlighting all the features that distinguish it from other developments.

Working closely with the Bridgwater team, we developed a two-month social media and online strategy to help Bridgwater increase awareness about the community and, as a result, increase property sales. Bridgwater: Designed to be Neighbourlytargeted primarily middle to higher income potential homebuyers, generally aged 30 plus. Using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, we populated the platforms with organic content, boosting the Facebook organic content that performed well to reach a larger audience. We developed a series of different ads building on the campaign theme with a combination of website clicks, carousel and video ads. To reinforce the strong social media presence, the multi-media campaign also included advertising on radio, TV, movie theatre, magazines (such as Parade of Homes), newspapers (Free Press and Metro) and digital billboards.

Success was quick and exceptional. Homebuilders saw a 30 per cent increase in visits to show homes. Shortly after the campaign launched, the Bridgwater website crashed because the campaign sent higher-than-expected traffic to the site. Since a site typically crashes when the hosting plan does not support a high monthly bandwidth, the campaign traffic clearly exceeded it. We don’t often boast about crashing a site, but this was a great sign. There were over 47,000 combined click-throughs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; 3.6 million impressions served; more than 1,900 social interactions (comments, likes, shares, retweets); and over 850 new followers on both accounts. Typically, the effectiveness of social media ads tend to wane after three to four weeks (ad fatigue); however, the Bridgwater ads continued to perform well for the entire two-month campaign.