US Forest Service launches tween campaign

WASHINGTON: The US Forest Service and The Advertising Council launched an awareness campaign June 10 targeting tweens and their parents with a goal to encourage kids to spend more time in nature.

WASHINGTON: The US Forest Service and The Advertising Council launched an awareness campaign June 10 targeting tweens and their parents with a goal to encourage kids to spend more time in nature.

"The Other You” campaign, which is focusing on social media outreach, aims to influence children aged 8 to 12 years old to “develop a life-long conservation ethic,” said Leslie Weldon, external affairs officer for the US Forest Service.

The Ad Council is providing PR support for the multi-year campaign, which has a first-year PR budget of $85,000.

“Kids spend about 50% less time in nature than they did just 20 years ago,” said Weldon, who added that the campaign decided to target tweens because they are at an age where they are still influenced by their parents and by each other.

Euro RSCG, which developed the advertising for the campaign, also created a Web site, which provides an interactive map for regional places where families can visit and outdoor activity suggestions, said Ellyn Fisher, director of corporate communications for the Ad Council.

Social media elements, which will be rolled out through the summer and target parents and caregivers, include an application which will gather Twitter conversations about the issue, as well as a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace.

“We're reaching out to parents using those sites,” said Fisher. “Tweens are a difficult audience to reach online but they're also at an age where they're highly influenced by their parents.”

Media outreach is focused on the online and print staffs of both parenting and kid's magazines. The campaign also includes an art contest for tweens to participate in and it kicked off with a June 13 event for National Get Outdoors Day.

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