The storescapes are basically big Twitter touch-screens so passers-by can stop and move images and tweets around, leaving behind big, grimy paw prints. Having lived in Canada a good chunk of my life, I can say with solid authority that this virtual experience taking place on a big city sidewalk is going to be far more exciting than actually visiting the country itself. Especially when the nearby homeless guy wanders over to see what you're doing and then pees on your shoe.
The press release states, "Bringing what's happening online to the street, the live billboard is a streaming representation of Canada's endless to-do list of destinations, cultural experiences and vacation packages. The digital storescapes are unexpected to passers-by and the amount of content happening about Canada is also intriguing."
"We wanted to create an innovative way to use this ongoing stream of content to generate awareness of the breadth and depth of experiences available in Canada in these key U.S. markets," said Siobhan Chretien, executive director Americas marketing, CTC. Chretien added, "It's not all about hockey, you know. We also have curling!"
Seriously, it seems to be a good idea on the surface but I have to question how effective it truly will be in getting people to make travel plans up north. True, Chicago and New York are key markets—but they're key markets that border on Canada! Do people in Illinois and New York State really not know that there's a huge, fairly harmless country right over top of them? With lower drinking ages? I'm sure the kids do.
It doesn't help matters, either, that in the promotional video released by the commission, one of the tweets about the "endless to-do list of destinations, cultural experiences and vacation packages" reads: "During my stay in Canada, the trees in my yard grew so I couldn't go out by car, but I trimmed them quickly in therain." [sic]
On the other hand, aggressive, carnivorous trees that grow so fast they can engulf a family sedan (and the contents therein) does sound pretty exciting.