A ten-year partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council, the Discover the Forest campaign encourages parents and caregivers of tweens to spend time in nature as a family. By introducing children to nature when they are young, they develop a love for the outdoors at an early age and go on to become future stewards of the land.
As more Americans live in and around cities, Discover the Forest has worked to demonstrate that families need not travel far for a powerful nature experience and that there is no shortage of things to do together when outside. Children that spend time in nature engage in unstructured play, are more focused, and are more creative, while parents are less stressed and healthier.
To support the larger campaign goals, Pinterest led the Discover the Forest brand through the development and execution of a highly-targeted advertising specifically designed for the Pinterest platform, one of the first partnerships of its kind at the Ad Council. The Pinterest ads drove to DiscovertheForest.org where interested people could search for nature spaces near them and interact with the other relevant campaign content.
Pinterest and the Ad Council used target audience insights, developed through over a decade of research, to identify the most effective creative strategy for this campaign. Recognizing that parents and caregivers lead overly scheduled lives and are often too busy or stressed to begin to plan a nature experience, the "Nature Next Door Challenge" was born. These pins provided 10 days of outdoor adventure ideas that were easy to execute in any nature space, from a grand national forest to the park across the street. Challenges included writing a letter to a favorite tree or going on a nature-themed scavenger hunt.
To ensure these pins reached our target audience, Pinterest leveraged its many targeting capabilities, including interest targeting, custom audiences, and retargeting. The accompanying pin copy encouraged viewers to visit DiscovertheForest.org to search for a forest or park near them. Additionally, all pins drove to the Nature Next Door Challenge subpage on the Discover the Forest site.
Since its launch in mid-June 2018, the Nature Next Door Challenge campaign has received strong results across our campaign goals. Overall, the pins have received over 35 million impressions among our target audience and drove over 1.5K searches for forests and parks on DiscovertheForest.org. This demonstrates the ability for promoted pins to persuade the target audience to take the next step in their effort to explore the outdoors as a family by searching for nature spaces near them.
The top-clicked pins include one motivating parents and their children to count the insects and animals they see in nature and another encouraging families to go on a nature-themed scavenger hunt; both of which produced campaign-high CTRs of 0.40% and 0.44%, respectively.
Our most-engaging pins – one that inspires children to write a letter to their favorite tree, and another that encourages families to rename the animals and plants they encounter outdoors – drove engagement rates of over 40%! This indicates the pin creative was highly compelling and resonated well with our audience as nearly half of all the impressions from these two pins resulted in a save, closeup, or click to DiscovertheForest.org.
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