13 SEP 2012: In the seventies two guys originally from Motown aka Detroit - absolutely smitten with our summer cottage country - decided to hunker down for a spell north of the 49th parallel, and soon ROOTS was born.

Call it a perfect opportunity meets branding genius meets American chutzpah.

Whatever it was - it was a winning formula.

For those of us old enough to remember, it was the Earth Shoe that radical minus-heel sole which briefly set the world on fire.

Remember how nearly every soul you'd meet had to have one?

Canuck Power

From the thick candy-colored beaver-covered Roots sweatshirts of the Duran-Duran eighties to outfitting Team Canada for the Olympics, the iconic Canadian leather goods and apparel company, uncannily seems to sprout new trends.

In the latest venture, Roots has saddled up with Travel Alberta to showcase the dramatic scenery of the Badlands for its fall 2012 campaign.

An impish eukele, accompanied by a male voice waxes "Go To Me" against the backdrop of sprawling valleys as an impossibly gorgeous young couple frolics in wind-blown grasses. The whole thing feels other worldly. Catch it @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMdfiatPgCE)

Cameron Wood, global partnership marketing specialist with Travel Alberta, says he's never heard of a leading apparel company like Roots partnering with this region famous for its dinosaur graveyards.

"Extremely unique - clothing company doing this large scale campaign in the Badlands is definitely a first," he smiles as musician Jordan Klassen was singing his catchy tune at a media reception held at the Roots flagship store last week in Toronto.

The Shoot

Cameron says the 3-day summer shoot in July was in and around Drumheller featuring the hoodoos run by the Royal Tyrrell Museum, and the bright yellow canola fields around Horsethief Canyon.

"(The Horsethief Canyon) is an interesting area where they shot a lot of the imagery," he says and adds another location was the Dorothy Grain Elevator seen also in Travel Alberta commercials.

"Roots will put this up on their Website and so will we. We'll be doing a lot with social media, drawing a lot of attention to the Canadian Badlands," says Wood.

You don't need to wear your old Earth Shoes to imagine the rumble of dinosaurs that once treaded there. The Canadian Badlands have been forever. And Roots? Well, they feel as Canadian as anything eh?

Now that Roots is lassoing this chunk of Alberta for the world to see many insiders will be watching tourism arrivals very closely indeed.

To know:

For more on the Canadian Badlands see


Download from ITunes the EP "Kindness" by Jordan Klassen or visit


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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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