Nature Valley Turns Parking Spaces into ‘Parklets’ to Boost its National Parks Partnership – Event Marketer

Nature Valley Turns Parking Spaces into ‘Parklets’ to Boost its National Parks Partnership – Event Marketer
Nature Valley Transforms Parking Spaces into 'Parklets' to Spotlight its National Parks Partnership

Nature Valley Turns Parking Spaces into ‘Parklets’ to Boost its National Parks Partnership

General Mills brand Nature Valley has been a long-time partner of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), but this year, for the first time, it took its message to the streets—literally.

On Sept. 15, the brand activated miniature “parklets” in metered parking spaces in Boise, Portland, Seattle and San Francisco. The activations aligned with National Park(ing) Day, an annual event that invites consumers, artists, activists and businesses to transform parking spaces into small-scale, temporary public parks. Started in San Francisco in 2005, the event has evolved into a global call for more urban, open space, and one that Nature Valley saw as the perfect one-day platform for a campaign it hopes will be a sign of things to come.

“We used to talk about our partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association on our packaging but we never really did a good job of bringing that to a more overt consumer communication,” says Kristin Atherton, marketing communications manager at Nature Valley. “You’re going to start seeing us make that effort a little bit more because we know [live experiences] are important for consumers, and we know it’s something they genuinely enjoy doing in their lives. We definitely want them to understand that Nature Valley as a brand sees the importance of our national parks.”

Each activation took place within the parameters of a single parking spot located in the heart of each target city’s downtown. Every activation was designed to be unique to its host city. In Portland, bicyclists could hop off their bikes and chill out on a porch swing (the swing was later donated to a local school). In Boise, locals could grab a paintbrush and contribute to a large-scale paint-by-number mural. Although consumers could grab Oats n’ Honey granola bars, the brand says product sampling wasn’t the core of its strategy.

“Our main goal was to bring a unique take on nature to consumers where they least expected it,” says Josh Arnold, experiential marketing manager at Nature Valley.

More than 6,000 consumers visited Nature Valley’s parklets. The program earned more than 400,000 media impressions. Agencies: Oliver Russell, Boise; Latitude, Portland; Svedvik Collective, San Francisco; Say Ok, Seattle.


Gallery: Nature Valley Celebrates National Park(ing) Day


See also:

Fuso Transforms a Parking Garage Into a ‘Positive Energy Station’ for the Launch of its All-Electric Truck

Jessica Heasley
Posted by Jessica Heasley

Jessica worked for more than 15 years in marketing and events before joining Event Marketer in 2007. She earned her master’s degree from t he Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and her bachelor’s from the University of Washington (go Huskies!). Her last gig before coming to Red 7 was at Psychology Today magazine. Her proudest professional accomplishments include fixing a branded 1972 VW bus accelerator pump on the side of a highway in South Carolina with a paper clip and some string the night before a 30-city college tour; convincing Dr. Laura that she wasn’t writing a piece about lusty event marketers having lurid affairs on the road (which she kind of was); and, while at an independent film dot-com called AtomFilms, using about fifty bucks worth of chocolate chip cookies and a couple gallons of milk to lure film festival attendees away from Steven Spielberg’s (now defunct) big budget “Pop! Multimedia” booth to her company’s tiny living room event space. Although she is a native of Seattle, she never once owned an umbrella or rain boots until she moved to Brooklyn, where she currently resides with her husband and daughter. She was born in Everett, WA, home of the pulp mill.
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