General Mills Film, Digital, Viral NATURE VALLEY TRAIL VIEW by McCann New York

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Industry Confectionery & snacks
Media Film, Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Viral
Market United States
Agency McCann New York
Executive Creative Director Leslie Sims
Creative Director Jason Schmall, Mat Bisher
Producer Adam Baskin
Released June 2012


Cannes Lions 2012
Branded content & entertaiment lions Best use or integration of digital media Gold

Credits & Description

Type of Entry: Branded Entertainment
Category: Best use of brand sponsorship integration (where there is no product overtly displayed in the film, show, event etc. but it is aligned to a brand message)
Advertiser/Client: GENERAL MILLS
Product/Service: GENERAL MILLS
Entrant Company: McCANN ERICKSON New York, USA
DM/Advertising Agency: McCANN ERICKSON New York, USA
Account Director: Alyssa Kane (Campbell Mithun)
Marketing Manager: Scott Baldwin (General Mills)
Producer: Adam Baskin (InTheMO)
Line Producer: Adam Cucurull (InTheMO)
Lead Cameraman: Brandon Mcclain (InTheMO)
Digitech/Cameraman: James Demuth (InTheMO)
Director Of Business Development: Robert Cohen (InTheMO)
Vice Chairman/Executive Creative Director: Andreas Dahlqvist (McCann Erickson)
Executive Integrated Producer: Catherine Eve Patterson (McCann Erickson)
Chief Brand Editor: Ellie Parpis (McCann Erickson)
Senior Integrated Producer: Geoffrey Guinta (McCann Erickson)
Creative Director: Jason Schmall (McCann Erickson)
Executive Creative Director: Leslie Sims (McCann Erickson)
Chief Creative Officer/Chairman: Linus Karlsson (McCann Erickson)
Creative Director: Mat Bisher (McCann Erickson)
Executive Producer: Heather Reddig (Your Majesty)
Executive Creative Director And Photographer: Jens Karlsson (Your Majesty)
Tech Lead: Micah Acinapura (Your Majesty)
Developer: Raed Atoui (Your Majesty)
Design Director: Riley Milhem (Your Majesty)
Describe the campaign/entry
Up to this point, most branded entertainment projects in the United States have taken place in the broadcast arena. Nature Valley’s unique relationship with the National Parks made it possible to move beyond broadcast to a new form of branded entertainment—the sponsorship and creation of a web-based utility. As such, the normal restrictions placed on traditional branded executions don’t apply.


3 years ago, Nature Valley granola bars began their Preserve the Parks program to support physical restoration projects and organise 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.
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. 8TB of footage, 11m image files, and 147,000 GPS points were collected, and transformed into a never-before-seen interactive experience and preservation program—brought to life by Nature Valley.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective.

Nature Valley’s core customers are nature lovers. Building a never-before-seen nature experience began with the challenge of attracting them to the branded site 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 Traveller and MSNBC, among others.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible.

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 30m earned media impressions within the first week. Within 2 weeks, the site had generated more than 100,000 unique visits, and 300,000 page views. Most importantly, Nature Valley was being hailed as a hero 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.