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City’s xoTO all about good vibrations | Posted Toronto | National Post

In Canada on October 10, 2010 at 09:52

City’s xoTO all about good vibrations

  October 9, 2010 – 9:00 am

 

David Cyr

xoTO debuted during Nuit Blanche, with 2,000 people contributing

 

Is Toronto ready for its xoTO moment? Reminiscent of the ubiquitous I ❤ NY campaign, the city of Toronto has quietly launched a campaign to celebrate all things beloved about Toronto, dubbing it simply “xoTO.”

Kicking off on Nuit Blanche with a Twitter account, the Toronto love-in has been in the works since early summer. The city partnered with marketing agency Espresso to launch the whimsical campaign.

“We’re looking to build a genuine voice of Toronto and let it grow organically, and become a place where it’s all about positive vibes and love for the city,” says Marilyn Nickel, manager with the economic development and culture department of the city.
When one observer wrote in, “everyone say hi to the agency who’s been put in charge of turning us all into optimists,” Jacquelyn Cyr knew she and her team were doing something right. Cyr, CEO of Espresso, is one of a few tweeters (along with Espresso’s Paige Dzenis and Amy Wood and the city’s Sue Holland) behind the campaign. Using #xoTO as a hashtag, this “boatload of optimists” cheerily encourages Torontonians to proclaim their love for the city via Twitter.  On Oct. 2, the answers — ranging from farmers’ markets to bike lanes and patios — were projected on the sides of buildings during Nuit Blanche, as about 2,000 people wrote in.

“We thought, ‘How do we make the people here talk about how much they love it?’ Sometimes, people feel like they can’t talk about it, because there’s this sense that it comes across as arrogant or smug. [xoTO] is a little bit sweet but really has that feel of what it is to be a resident of the city,” Cyr says.

But this love-in won’t be exclusive to Twitter. Nickel says there’s a website in the works that will be launched before the new year, and an interactive mobile application is in progress.

“I think what we’d like it to be is things that you love. Certain things that rise to the surface — the CN Tower, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum. But what we’d like to be is a comprehensive guide that not only includes those attractions but helps everyone understand the magic of our neighbourhoods. ”

Take note, New York. XO, Toronto.

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