Cannes Lions

Parktracks Civilization Canceling Headphones

GREY NEW YORK / NATIONAL PARKS SERVICE & NATIONAL PARKS FOUNDATION / 2019

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Park visits amongst millenials and Gen Z were down. The national parks needed to reignite interest in the parks amongst this always-on, technologically-driven generation. The objective was to remind this largely urban group of the splendor of the parks and thereby make them consider visiting these natural wonders.

Idea

2018 was the noisiest year in human history. The more advanced we become, the louder everything gets. And with more entertainment and stimulation than ever, less young people are visiting the national parks. How do we reconnect this generation with the one place that’s always been an escape from the overstimualtion and noise? Simple. Using the thing they’re most attracted to: Technology. Introducing, Parktracks Civilization Canceling Headphones. We created a new kind of noise canceling headphones, that stream nothing but calming sounds direct from remote regions of America’s national parks. By reminding people of the splendor of the parks and offering the parks as a necessary respite from the chaos of 2018, we hoped to inspire more of this generation to visit the parks.

Strategy

While a large percentage of Americans older than 36 are regular park visitors, people younger than 36 were visiting less than almost any generation in history. We needed to bring this generation to the park. For this reason, the target audience was urban people between 16 and 36. Rather than pulling this target group out of their daily lives and trying to get them to visit the parks, our strategic approach was to target them with things and in places that they’re already attracted to. Namely, through technology and in urban environments. We did this by creating a new kind of media and launching it in urban centers, starting with downtown Seattle and extending through 2019 and 2020 into cities around the United States.

Execution

First, we designed and built the headphones. This was done in conjunction with a specialist technological production company. We then designed the packaging and collateral to market the custom product. Once this had been completed, we launched the headphones in one of America’s noisiest cities: Seattle. We launched in a purpose built brick and mortar store in Seattle’s downtown area, where people could trial the product, stream sounds of the parks through the headphones, learn more about the parks and even get a pair of headphones for themselves. From there, we went national, with an extensive OOH campaign to promote the headphones, as well as a social film promoting the headphones. The campaign launched in August 2018 and will continue to run through 2019 and into 2020, with new pop-up stores in different cities around the USA.

Outcome

The headphone launch generated $4.71 million in free PR and 300 million earned media impressions. More than 5,000 people visited the headphone store during the first three days. As a result of all this, during the week of launch, the parks website got over 900% more visits than ever before. And ultimately, the campaign contributed to more park visits in 2018 than any year in history.

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