Putting the wild in childhood

A new creative platform from Go RVing reminds overbearing parents to give their kids a little freedom.

Remember scraping your knees while running and jumping outside? Go RVing Canada, a group of RV manufacturers and retailers, does, and it has debuted a new creative platform that hopes to remind parents looking for a getaway of that very same experience.

The platform, dubbed “Wildhood,” aims to connect the experience of RVing with the kinds of off-the-beaten-path activities kids want to have but are next to impossible in an over-supervised, “helicopter parenting” environment. Things like getting dirty, eating food from a stick outside and staying up late to go stargazing are fond childhood memories for the brand’s target market of parents with children, according to Chris Mahony, executive director of Go RVing Canada, and the campaign is meant to remind them of that and show them how to provide it for their own kids.

“It’s not a huge departure from where we’ve been, which is being in the family mode and finding a way to get away, yet still be close,” he says. “When we were thinking about what’s unique about RVing, we felt there was this emotive element related to the freedom and kinship that came with sharing a camping space that we also used to have as kids. It’s that nostalgic, pure free state of mind that they might want to have back and provide to their own kids.”

The campaign’s microsite, featuring a one-minute spot and “Wildhood” manifesto, launched this week, as have 30-second national radio spots in English and French. More digital material and a 30-second televised version of the first video will debut in March. Mahony says the staggered release allows the group to speak to those looking to buy during what is RV trade show season, occupying the digital and radio spaces while the TV spots are run at the shows. Bringing televised and more digital material in the spring is meant to reach its target when the weather should warm up and they may be in more of outdoor-friendly mindset.

The creative was developed by DS+P, with Starcom MediaVest handling the media buy, Level designing the web presence and Edelman handling digital buying, PR and social media on the campaign. Headspace is adapting materials for the French market.

Mahony says looking forward, the plan is to continue the Wildhood message, possibly adapting it to older demographics without kids that may not have had a chance to have their own wild adventures. The group’s campaign from last year, which took a digital-forward approach, featured multiple angles and refreshes to reach different targets. Mahony says the key learning from last year is to continue working online, but to present more of a unified brand message.

“What we’re bringing this year is more of a cohesive message and platform. The stuff we did last year did very well, and we had good numbers and I want to continue doing that in the digital space, but our message just needs to be more cohesive,” he says.