Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

City sponsors, creator happy with Internet show

  • Print

An Internet sitcom that received more than $200,000 in public funding to help promote the Manitoba capital has not exactly gone viral.

With just over 3,000 views for its most recent episodes, WindCity appears to be less popular than YouTube videos telling Manitobans to brush their teeth or depicting public fist fights.

But the show's creator is confident the audience will grow.

"It's not like an ad in a paper that, you know, is here today and gone tomorrow. This will always exist online," Paul Vieira said Wednesday.

"People can become fans of the show forever."

Vieira's company, Starfish Media, launched WindCity in January. It's the tale of a couple in the midst of a divorce who are also trying to start up a new business in a vibrant, fun city. The show was aimed at promoting a positive image of Winnipeg and was backed by Crown corporations and other public bodies.

Manitoba Public Insurance chipped in $96,000. Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries put up $80,000. Red River College paid $50,000. The Canadian Museum For Human Rights added a more modest $2,500.

In exchange, the sponsors were inserted into the scripts. A main character is a Red River graduate. The museum, which is to open later this year, is featured prominently in the background and is mentioned on at least one occasion. The Royal Bank, one of the few major private-sector sponsors, is featured heavily.

The first episode has garnered more than 12,000 views on YouTube. The sixth and final episode has been viewed a little more than 3,000 times.

It is available for viewing on

"We’ve surpassed our goal of making three million digital impressions with more than 10.6 million digital impressions through social media and our presence on the Winnipeg Free Press," said Chris McIvor, CEO of FRANK Digital.

Red River College spokeswoman Christine Payne said in a written statement that the college was pleased with the results of WindCity's first season because the series generated "buzz" about the school.

"This unique marketing-advertising medium allowed us to connect with our student population through social media to build our brand," Payne wrote.

Manitoba Public Insurance had some safe-driving messages in the script and was aiming for younger viewers who might not read newspaper ads.

"Our specific goal was to reach that young demographic and we feel that we did," said MPI spokesman Brian Smiley.

Plans are being made for a second season and Vieira said talks with some sponsors are underway.

He said his goal was to have total views for all six first-season episodes hit the 100,000 mark. The count is at 45,000 and rising, he added.

"We get about 700 to 1,000 views a week still. There's a consistent number."

The amount of money spent by the Crown corporations would buy many ads in traditional media, said an official with a Winnipeg advertising company.

"Eighty-thousand dollars would get you a fairly decent campaign over a few weeks," said Brent Neill, media strategist at Blacksheep Strategy.

"For a decent visibility campaign, locally, on (TV) during the Olympics, you're looking at about $20,000."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 27, 2014 B6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


City updates boil-water advisory - 7:30 a.m. Wednesday

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google