Cannes Lions

GENERAL MILLS

McCANN ERICKSON NY, New York / GENERAL MILLS / 2012

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

3 years ago, Nature Valley granola bars began their Preserve the Parks program to support physical restoration projects and organize fundraising efforts. This year, they asked us to think of new ways to tackle the challenge of national park preservation on a larger scale and help them engage with their customers in an authentic, meaningful way.

The basic idea was simple: To share the beauty of the national parks with as many people as possible, we’d create a Street View experience on backcountry hiking trails for the first time ever. To do that we built a customised backpack camera and GPS rig that allowed us to capture beautiful 360-degree imagery along the trails. We then integrated that footage with topographic map data to design an interactive platform built on the Google maps API.

Execution

Our teams hiked for 3 months, covering 333 miles of trails in 3 of the most popular parks: Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and the Great Smoky Mountains. 8 terabytes of footage, 11m image files, and 147,000 GPS points were collected, and transformed into a never-before-seen interactive experience and preservation program.

Trail View began attracting nature-lovers almost immediately after launch, even without paid media. To enhance the appeal to our target, we partnered with a cadre of outdoors-focused media outlets, including National Geographic and Backpacker to tout the launch, and to bring a broader audience to the site, we began a vigorous public relations effort highlighted by featured articles in the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler and MSNBC, among others.

Outcome

The initial launch on March 7th created a positive media buzz unlike anything Nature Valley had ever seen. Without a single dollar of paid media, Trail View generated over 30 million earned media impressions to date. Within two weeks, the site had generated more than 100,000 unique visits, and 300,000 page views. Most importantly, Nature Valley was being saluted for inspiring a new generation of nature-lovers, creating a previously unseen utility, and preserving the parks digitally for all time. Pretty good for a granola bar.

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