Tourism Montreal has released a kitschy music video that urges Quebecers to visit the province’s largest city.
In “Reviens-Moi,” or “Come Back to Me” in English, local singer Mathieu Samson implores the people of Quebec to come back to Montreal in the form of a three-minute syrupy love ballad.
“Quebec, my beautiful province of love, I miss you,” Samson sings in French while donning a satin smoking jacket at the start of the song. “Will you come back to me one day?”
In the video, Samson can also be seen superimposed via green screen over such attractions as the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Montreal Observation Wheel and the Olympic Stadium. At one point, Samson even flies over Canada’s second-largest city, sprinkling fairy dust as he sings his sappy song.
“Let's meet and be crazy,” he croons. “My beautiful Quebec, come back to me.”
Released over the weekend, the video left a lot of people scratching their heads -- including Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante.
“I saw it like everybody else and I was like, ‘Oh, OK, that's interesting; that's kind of very different from what we've been used to,’” she told CTV Montreal. “And at the same time, I mean, I totally trust Tourism Montreal with doing ads that people will talk about, and definitely that’s the case: people are talking about that ad.”
With its over-the-top lyrics, low-fi graphics and $400,000 price tag, the talk, though, hasn’t all been positive. The word “Montreal” is also never mentioned in the song.
Bonnie Feigenbaum teaches marketing at the city’s McGill University.
“I think that the video is a bit tacky, or to use the better French term ‘quetaine,’ because there really is no real equivalent in the English language,” she told CTV Montreal. “The graphics, I mean, I've been teaching at McGill, I've been teaching at Concordia, I'm pretty sure my students could do better than that in their presentations -- I’ve seen them do better than that in their presentations. And the fact that Montreal is never mentioned once in the video is kind of a branding error when we talk about marketing.”
Tourism Montreal, which operates as a private non-profit, says the ad was meant to be humorous and that humour may not appeal to everyone. With more than 40 per cent of tourists to Montreal hailing from within the province, they say the sizeable investment is worth it.
“It's like we're saying we have changed, come back,” Tourism Montreal spokesperson Andree-Anne Pelletier explained to CTV Montreal. “So this year, we're really clear with the message that come back: reviens-moi. And we are addressing all Quebecers an invitation to come and visit Montreal.”
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