Cannes Lions

NATURE VALLEY

McCANN ERICKSON, New York / GENERAL MILLS / 2012

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Nature Valley began its Preserve the Parks program 3 years ago as an extension of its long-standing support of the U.S. national parks. This year, they wanted to increase the visibility of that commitment to nature preservation, and build credibility with avid hikers and casual nature lovers, important granola bar consumer segments.In March, 2012 we launched Nature Valley Trail View — a first-of-its-kind street view experience on hiking trails in U.S. national parks. Trail View is equal parts map utility, educational tool and eye candy. Its development required more than 8 terabytes of footage and 11m images. These were gathered and integrated with more than 147,000 GPS points to create an intuitive, informative and user-friendly experience.An official launch event to the tech-savvy crowd at SXSW in Austin, Texas led to a flurry of coverage from media outlets ranging from the New York Times to Treehugger to MSNBC.Since then, Nature Valley has enjoyed a positive P.R. buzz unlike anything they’ ever seen. Without a single dollar of paid media, Trail View has generated more than 30 million earned media impressions to date. Within the first two weeks the site had generated more than 100,000 unique visits, and 300,000 page views.

Most importantly, Nature Valley is being hailed as a hero for inspiring a new generation of nature-lovers, creating a previously unseen online utility, and preserving the parks digitally for all time. Pretty good for a granola bar.

Execution

To start, there was an immediate need to plant a flag that Nature Valley, a brand not known for its technological prowess, was embarking on an ambitious park preservation effort. To that end, Fast Company teased the piece several months in advance of the site launch. The week of the launch, an article in the New York Times captured the public’s attention, and was followed up with by MSNBC, Reuters and others. A site launch event at SXSW in Austin, Texas, brought us face-to-face with influential tech blogs like Mashable and Engadget, who lauded the site as an amazing example of a brand interacting with its audience in a new way. The SXSW buzz led to the story being picked up across the web. From Backpack to Treehugger to Trip Advisor, Nature Valley was being applauded for creating such an important utility and for preserving the parks digitally for all time.

Outcome

With zero media budget the launch of Trail View has garnered more than 30m earned media impressions to date. Within 2 weeks the site had generated more than 100,000 unique visits, and 300,000 page views. Most importantly, by creating a new digital utility that is inspiring a new generation of nature-lovers and preserving the parks digitally for all time, Nature Valley has been recognised as a digitally conscientious brand by everyone from tech-savvy bloggers to environmentalists. Pretty good for a granola bar.

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