Ramblers: Let’s Walk Together
This campaign was highly commended by the judges at Magnetic’s Spotlight Awards 2022
“The consumer trust and attention magazine media offers, especially when it comes to Immediate’s quality, passion-led print and digital platforms, was perfect for communicating how The Ramblers helps people enjoy outdoor spaces.Carol Flint, Head of Marketing, Communications and Brand, the Ramblers
Immediate’s brands offer scaled reach into our target audiences and the Imagine studio understood the brief and how to communicate our work to each of IM brands in a contextually relevant way. This campaign drove both awareness of the Ramblers’ work and tangible action.”
The Ramblers mission is to open the way for everyone to access and enjoy the benefits of walking in green spaces, whoever and wherever they are. The Ramblers’ work spans urban parks and canals to mountain trails and coastal paths. It lobbies the government to protect walkers rights and, via local volunteers, delivers practical work to make routes passable and support communities in walking together.
While the lockdowns inspired many to spend time outdoors, the Ramblers remained unsung heroes. Despite almost 100 years of history, the charity was traditionally associated with an older demographic comprising similar ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. It was seen simply as a walking group with relatively little awareness of its broader work. Its core membership was stagnant.
Using funds raised by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, the Ramblers wanted a content partnership to communicate its role as enabler of Britain’s world-class walking network, and to attract support to continue improving access to more places for more people. It needed to position the Ramblers as relevant to the wider audience’s everyday lives, and attract a younger, more diverse range of new members.
The brief was to focus on three areas:
- Raise awareness of the Ramblers’ work, via an interesting content mechanic
- Inspire more people to get out enjoying nature
- Help walkers get more from exploring outdoors with informative, relevant
- content that positioned Ramblers as enablers of outdoor walking
The partnership needed to connect the Ramblers’ work to benefits we all enjoy as a result; through walks, places, people (including talent) and stories; to see behind the scenes of the Ramblers’ work, create a call to action to engage walkers, and, in line with a rebrand, position the Ramblers as a modern, inclusive organisation for walkers of all ages, demographics and locations.
This campaign needed to reflect the lived experience of real members of the Ramblers community across all touchpoints and illustrate how the work of the Ramblers benefits anyone who enjoys the outdoors.
The Ramblers target audience was split into two groups: Challenge Seekers and Family Nature Seekers. Both are nature-loving groups who value the great outdoors as an environment for socialising and exercising.
Challenge Seekers typically walk to physically challenge themselves, are younger, more female and are environmentally aware.
Family Nature Seekers walk to enjoy nature with family/friends, walk almost exclusively for pleasure and want to protect and sustain nature.
Immediate has a scaled reach into both audiences. The publisher reaches 12.6m people who walk regularly, 6m households with children, 13.3m ABC1 adults and 14.7m women. Of IM’s total audience, 18m like to understand nature, 12m prefer to stay active in their leisure time, 14.8m are willing to volunteer to help a good cause, and 3.5 are charity members.
But reach was just part of the equation: we wanted to partner with a publisher whose audiences had unparalleled levels of trust in its editorial brands, a partner who could leverage this trust with quality content to communicate a range of complex messages about the Ramblers’ work and inspire audiences to support the Ramblers.
To really cut through, this campaign needed to communicate the Ramblers’ messages in environments where audiences were at their most receptive, and speak their language; to show how the Ramblers’ work was relevant to audiences’ interests outside of simply walking, and to be both personal and inspiring. It needed to speak to audiences in environments where they felt both at ease (BBC Good Food, BBC Gardeners’ World), and challenged (220 Triathlon).
Let’s Walk Together was a six-month campaign that leveraged Immediate’s trusted, passion-led brands to educate and inspire action amongst the Ramblers’ target audience via interviews, recipes, tips and downloadable assets.
It drew on the titles’ editorial authority to create practical advice, and show how the Ramblers empowers walkers. All content drove to a custom-built website, which encouraged them to simply pledge to walk a set number of miles with friends and family in 2022. It also needed to convey complex messages about the Ramblers’ many roles.
The hub included 13 articles reflecting different IM audiences’ passions, including BBC Good Food (5 foraging tips to try on your next walk), BBC Wildlife (Discover the UK’s most striking spring wildlife – and where to find it) and 220 Triathlon (Training for a triathlon? Here are 5 exhilarating walking routes to tackle). All included details of the Ramblers’ work.
Furthermore, Imagine created six articles about the Ramblers, profiling the work of volunteers and staff, plus fun, downloadable treasure hunts to engage young families driven to the site, in partnership with MadeForMums.
Central to the hub was a competition mechanic – visitors pledged their miles for the chance to win a family walking holiday, plus smaller prizes. This simple, achievable ask communicated the ethos that every mile walked should be celebrated, and allowed Immediate to generate leads for the Ramblers with data from opted-in entrants.
Appearing across multiple touchpoints, Let’s Walk Together needed a recognisable face to resonate with different audiences. Conservationist, farmer and chef Jimmy Doherty was the perfect choice. Jimmy appeared in all photographic and video assets, created by Imagine and shot on location in the Essex countryside with Jimmy and Ramblers community members.
Video and images featuring Jimmy appeared in social and digital ads, driving to the hub and communicating core Ramblers messaging.
Content created for the partnership achieved incredible engagement – reflecting its quality, relevance, and how it was targeted across IM’s channels. Dwell time on the Let’s Walk Together hub was more than double the typical IM benchmark, and users seeing the social videos featuring Jimmy and the Ramblers consistently stayed watching until the end – Immediate delivered +175% against its video completes target on social. In total, 2.7m video views were delivered against a target of 811k. Digital display assets driving to the site also performed well: average CTR on digital traffic drivers was .43% against a .15% benchmark. The campaign achieved a total reach of 12m against an 11m KPI.
IM’s pre-and post-campaign study showed positive shifts in perception and awareness of all aspects of the Ramblers work among those who recalled the campaign – and there was a 37% increase in those with a favourable opinion of the Ramblers.
The 170k visitors to the hub pledged to walk almost 3 million miles! The opt-in rate from users pledging miles was 45% – an illustration of the trust in the campaign’s content and +50% IM’s 30% benchmark. In addition:
- 39% of those who recalled the campaign took an action as a result
- The percentage of people considering donating to the Ramblers rose by 200%
- The percentage of people thinking about joining the Ramblers rose by 75%
- There was a 45% increase in those wanting to hear more about the Ramblers’ work
- 11% of those who recalled the campaign said they were likely to join the Ramblers
- Help walkers get more from exploring outdoors
- Over a third said they found the content useful.
- 41% of those who recalled the campaign said it told them something new
- They also said it was eye catching (46%), attractive (47%) and different (44%).