Canal & River Trust, the charitable organisation which overseas over 2,000 miles of British waterways, is urging consumers to break free from the noisy, busy streets in towns and cities as it steps up its campaign encouraging the public to enjoy happier and healthier times down by the riverside.
MSQ Partners agency The Gate London launched the first round of activity last June, having picked up the account earlier in the year.
For the latest initiative, the agency was briefed to create a new campaign and build awareness of the Trust among the 8 million people who live close to a Canal & River Trust’s waterway in England and Wales.
With concerns around mental and physical health across the UK, the activity highlights the important role that canals and rivers can play in providing free-to-visit spaces that are, in most cases, just a short walk from people’s homes and offices.
At the heart of the campaign is a robot character called “Well-B”, which is designed to show how consumers feel inside when they need to recharge their batteries.
A 30-second ad, which first airs on TV this week, follows Well-B on a journey from the grey hustle and bustle of modern life, to the calm and tranquil oasis of a local canal. Throughout the ad, Well-B’s “monitor” provides a visual way of expressing wellbeing levels, while putting Canal & River Trust at the heart of the activity.
The campaign will also run across online video, social media and digital channels. The Gate is handling media planning and buying.
Canal & River Trust head of marketing and supporter development Nicky Wakeford said: “We worked very closely with the team at MSQ and challenged them to portray the huge role the Trust and canals and rivers can play in helping millions of people to feel better just by increasing the time they spend by water.
“Whether people are walking, running, biking, boating, fishing, resting, spotting wildlife or seeking a bit of headspace – there are so many fantastic ways to recharge by your local canal or river.
Gate London chief executive Jamie Elliott added: “We wanted to avoid the shock tactic clichés of charity campaigns to raise awareness of the unique work the Trust does and the unique feelings that the spaces they protect engender. We hope Well-B attracts many future generations down to their local canal.”
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