National Audubon Society Film, Digital, Viral Birding the Net by Goodby Silverstein & Partners San Francisco

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Birding the Net

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers, Environmental & Animal Issues
Media Film, Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Viral
Market United States
Agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners San Francisco
Creative Director Niklas Lilja, Joakim Borgström
Copywriter Sha Nguyen
Released June 2011


One Show 2012
One Show Interactive Interactive Advertising / Public Service/Non-Profit Merit
One Show Interactive Social Media / Best Use of Social Media Merit

Credits & Description

Category: Best Consumer Engagement
Co-Chairman: Jeff Goodby (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Creative Director: Joakim Borgstrom (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Creative Director: Niklas Lilja (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Senior Art Director: Patrick Knowlton (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Copywriter: Sha Nguyen (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Assistant Art Director: Sean Smith (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Director Of Broadcast Production: Cindy Fluitt (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Director Of Digital Production: Carey Head (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Senior Interactive Producer: Paige Kobert (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Senior Communication Strategist: Alison Feigen (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Account Director: Kathryn Krischer (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Senior Brand Strategy Director: Molly Cabe (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Social Media Copywriter: Sage Romano (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Associate Digital Marketing Strategist: Kacee Taylor (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
User Experience Architect: James Taylor (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Production: Tim Pries (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)
Executive Producer: Michael Watts (Hook)
President: Jeff Oswalt (14four)
Owner: Matt Hoover (Matt Hoover)
Co-Founder And Chief Executive Officer: Pat Joseph (The Mill)
Media placement: Birding The Net Facebook Application - - 10 October 2011
Media placement: Birding The Net Twitter Pages - - 10 October 2011
Media placement: Birdhouse Scriptlet - 212 Site Hosted Scriptlets Generated - 10 October 2011
Media placement: Birding Screensaver - - 10 November 2011

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
The National Audubon Society asked us to make birding relevant, even cool, for a new era. With membership falling behind population trends, Audubon needed to appeal to a new digitally savvy audience to maintain the health of their nonprofit organisation. A bonus would be adding friends, followers and potential members.

Non-birders perceive birding as tedious and for an older generation*, so we needed to find a way to play up the fun, social and rewarding experience of birding. To combat antiquated perceptions of bird watching, we met our digitally savvy audience halfway:

Birding the Net brought birding online by re-creating the pastime in the digital world. It led players on a four-week treasure hunt and birding expedition across social media platforms, websites and blogs. BTN brought game mechanics to birding, creating immediacy, competition and obsessive engagement around the experience and repositioning birding as a contemporary, accessible activity.

*Agency Omnibus 2011

Creative Execution
We released thousands of beautifully rendered 3-D birds on the Internet for fledgling birders to spot. The online scavenger hunt and social media game spanned over 800 partner websites and personal blogs on corporate and traditional media outlets that all donated their space to the cause (91 million free media impressions).

After players spotted a bird, a collector card was added to their “aviary” on the BTN Facebook app, showing which website the birds were spotted on. The Facebook app pushed people to follow our “guide birds” on Twitter, who Tweeted clues about where their bird friends were released. Players could also install a birdhouse scriptlet to attract birds (and other players) to visit their site.

In a spontaneous show of camaraderie, players created BTN tutorial blogs and chat rooms, and the Audubon Facebook page and Twitter stream were taken over by players helping each other out.

Results and Effectiveness
BTN was an engrossing experience with exponential impact for Audubon.

• 64K app visits with 15 minutes spent per visit
• 76 in-app actions per player throughout the campaign
• 50K published app actions, one million impressions across newsfeeds
• 212 sites hosted Bird Feeder scriptlet, 602K earned impressions

• +56% growth of Facebook community, 9x increase in new fans
• +13% growth of Twitter followers, 25x new daily followers
• +87% daily traffic to
• +52% in online donations
• 25% of players signed up for a membership
• 42% of players provided e-mail for fundraising