Nature Valley promotes the great outdoors

Urging consumers to "Rediscover the Joy of Nature," the brand's new video highlights how kids today are missing out.

Your grandparents might have walked uphill for three hours in three feet of snow to get to school, but can you remember the last time your kids played in the snow (not virtually, we might add)?

This notion of how kids today don’t spend enough time outside (but rather stay glued to technology) is at the heart of a new online video (in English and French) for Nature Valley, which depicts three generations of families. While the older folks reminiscence about memories outdoors such as using a sign as a sled, tech rules the grandkids’ discussion. With creative and media by Cossette, the video is being promoted online, as well as via social and blogger outreach. 

This latest push is a continuation of a creative platform the General Mills brand debuted last year with its “Manifesto” TV spot (which is still in market) and urges consumers to “Rediscover the Joy of Nature.” Its “Field Trip” video depicts a surprise visit outdoors for kids from the Boys and Girls Club of West Scarborough, calling out around how fewer than one in 10 kids spends time in nature.  The latest video also draws upon this insight, and how with each generation, this time only decreases.

Ensuring future generations have experiences in nature became a mission for the brand, says Emma Eriksson, marketing director, General Mills. Given consumers’ comments about the brand’s connection to nature when asked about what it stood for, its ingredients and portability (particularly if one goes out into nature) made this mission a good fit for the brand, she adds.

Moreover, Nature Valley’s earlier efforts under this platform led to double-digit lifts in base and volume sales – which Eriksson says quelled some doubts the team had about an initiative that wasn’t specifically geared to selling the product, but rather building the brand.

And while General Mills has bet big on innovation within the novel portable snacks category – of which granola bars is a big part – she says, this latest effort feeds into the need to keep its established business (Nature Valley has been in the market since the ’70s) strong.