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New PSAs for U.S. Forest Service's Discover the Forest Campaign
Nebraska Ag Connection - 09/11/2017

To motivate parents and their children to spend more time in nature together, the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council launched a new public service advertisement (PSA) campaign urging families to experience the many wonders of nature close to home together.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here:

The PSAs, created in partnership with The Foundry, Time Inc.'s state-of-the-art creative lab and content studio, focus on family time in nearby forested environments, reminding parents that having a nature experience with their children is not only easy and local, but also fun and full of learning opportunities and benefits. This is the first time that the Ad Council has worked with the creative division of a media company that has iconic roots in publishing on a large-scale production on behalf of one of its PSA campaigns. A range of Time Inc. properties are also donating print and digital advertising space in support of this campaign.

The new TV, print and digital ads target African American parents with children ages 8 to 12. The PSAs feature a family who uses to find a local forest close to home and explores nature together without any of their normal everyday distractions. The ads' nature scenes feature a clever play on familiar social media related terms like "tweet," "streaming," and others to highlight the natural adventures that await parents and children outside when they disconnect from technology for a while. The family exits the forest feeling energized and more connected, not only to nature and the outdoors, but also to each other.

Clear Channel Outdoor, one of the world's largest outdoor advertising companies and a longtime Ad Council partner, is also partnering with the Ad Council and the U.S. Forest Service to amplify the campaign's message even further in major markets across the country with printed out-of-home creative and targeted dynamic digital ads designed by Clear Channel.

"We spend so much of our time at work or at school, and our attention always seems focused on our devices, which make it easy to connect to information and to people across the globe. While that's an incredible ability, we also need to take the time to connect to the people in our everyday lives and to explore the beauty that surrounds us at our local forests," said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. "When we walk outside and appreciate the fresh air, wildlife, trees and trails that are close to home, we're healthier and happier, and we learn to respect and admire nature."

Pinterest has partnered with the Forest Service and the Ad Council to create custom content for the Discover the Forest Pinterest channel and will support the campaign via donated media on the platform. Last month, the Forest Service and the Ad Council also partnered with Facebook's Creative Shop to launch a series of PSAs featuring Dr. Spruce, a quirky, nature-loving doctor -- not a medical doctor-- who lives in the forest and is passionate about nature.

"Most Americans don't realize our cities and towns are surrounded by beautiful green spaces for families to explore together. In fact, there are 100 million acres of urban forests in cities across the nation," said Leslie Weldon, Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service. "There are so many benefits to spending more time outside for the whole family; it helps us take a much-needed break from our busy lives, keeps us active, helps us build an appreciation for nature, and so much more. We hope the newest PSAs in our Discover the Forest campaign encourage families to head to a local forest in their communities and experience all it has to offer."

"We have long admired and supported the many worthy causes that the Ad Council represents," said Chris Hercik, SVP, Creative + Content, The Foundry. "We are thrilled to take our relationship with the Ad Council to this new level, bringing our creative expertise to the table, in addition to our massive consumer reach. The Foundry, as part of Time Inc., is able to team up with the Ad Council in much more holistic ways -- from consumer insights, creative strategy and content development along with scalable, multi-platform distribution."

The United States Forest Service launched the Discover the Forest campaign in partnership with the Ad Council in 2009 to inspire children to develop a love for the outdoors. The campaign has amassed more than $369.7 million in total donated media support since then, and an astounding 10 million users have visited since January 2014. According to a recent Ad Council survey, 83% of parents with children ages 8 to 12 agree that taking their child to a forest or park is something they would like to do more often, and 78% of parents with children 8 to 12 agree that finding time to take their child to a forest or park is personally important.

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