Children today are spending less time in nature and, as a result, are less connected to our natural spaces. However, there are many benefits to spending time outside, including:
Allowing kids to explore and engage in unstructured and adventurous play
Instilling in kids a love for nature and an understanding of their role in protecting it
Encouraging families to break from daily routines, unplug, and reconnect with each other
To encourage parents with kids ages 8-12 to reconnect with their family and the environment at local nature spaces, the Ad Council partnered with Pinterest to produce bespoke video and static assets for its Discover the Forest campaign with the U.S. Forest Service.
In order to deepen families’ first-hand experiences with the forest, our core objectives were twofold:
Audience engagement with assets and our tools found on DiscoverTheForest.org, aiming for upwards of a 1% engagement rate
Exposure to our messaging on the Pinterest platform to raise awareness of all the fun that parents and children could have with their children in nature
After review and evaluation, we identified stop-motion as the best vehicle to tell our story. Based on this insight, the Ad Council and Pinterest worked with DavidLee Studios, one of the top stop-motion artists who specializes in brand storytelling on Pinterest, who had a passion for the issue, to produce a bespoke, visually compelling campaign that stands out in-feed in order to inspire parents and children to get out and explore.
In celebration of last year’s 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System Act, the campaign’s strategy revolved around the messaging “all trails lead to discovery”. Building on this idea, DavidLee studios developed a video and static assets that highlighted:
The excitement of discovering local trails
Encouraging kids to explore and document their surroundings
We strategically incorporated maps into the assets (both video and static), which set the tone for us to create magical animated moments - linking imagination to the outdoors as well as introducing fun DIY craft activities that incorporate nature.
Although we wanted to utilize animation to inspire creativity, we strategically casted a real mother and son, who were able to showcase the fun and adventure that families can create when they get outside and explore.
Ad Council in collaboration with Pinterest strategists, led the media plan development, targeting areas of the platform where they knew that we could reach parents who were in the state of mind to attend to our messaging. Informed by over a decade’s worth of research around families interactions with nature, we developed a deep understanding of parents’ behaviors and mindsets in order to reach them within the Pinterest environment to ultimately engender a love for nature in kids by fostering connection with urban and national forests. With a strong understanding of our audience’s motives, we utilized interest-based targeting, including kids interests, DIY and crafts, travel, parenting and education, along with a video engager audience (which retargeted our static pins to those Pinners who had viewed our video pin). In order to achieve both our engagement and awareness goals, we customized our creative messaging by targeting some of our assets to fit a CPC objective and the others to fit a CPM objective.
In total, the Discover the Forest campaign garnered 28.7 million impressions on Pinterest with 87.5 thousand clicks to our site, DiscoverTheForest.org, resulting in a 0.3% click-through-rate. Overall, we saw a 2.7% engagement rate, which is more than double our historic benchmark for Ad Council campaigns on the platform.