Nature Valley Explores Shared Points of Interest At Three National Parks

Creating compelling content for marketing purposes, whatever the platform, comes down to utility or entertainment. That’s the opportunity for brands, and delivering on that opportunity requires a switch from the messaging approach that we’ve all grown so accustom to.

Nature Valley Trail View is a new entry into the field that offers both utility and entertainment, without bothering to sell anyone a packaged good.

Inspired by Google Street View, which uses images from a 360-degree camera to provide pedestrian-level views of cities worldwide, the site features 58 hiking trails totaling more than 300 miles in the Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains and Yellowstone National Parks, according to The New York Times.

“It’s not necessarily about getting someone to go out today and buy a Nature Valley granola bar,” Scott Baldwin, senior marketing manager for Nature Valley, said of the project. “Supporting lifestyle causes that your customers care about is what’s going to keep them loyal to you, and when they have a choice, maybe they’ll choose you.”

For direct marketers, “maybe they’ll choose you,” is a tough pill to swallow. But direct marketers never have liked brand building. Regardless, brands need to be built, or there will be nothing to promote, directly or indirectly.

This effort — conceived by McCann Erickson Worldwide and executed online by InTheMO Interactive and Your Majesty — benefits the National Parks Conservation Association, which has received more than $820,000 from General Mills over the past two years.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.