Make birding "cool". Really? The National Audubon Society asked us to make birding relevant, even cool, for a new era. The problem is, birding hasn't been cool since the early 20th century. With membership falling, Audubon needed to appeal to a new digitally savvy audience to maintain the health of their non-profit organization. Non-birders perceive birding as tedious and dull, so we needed to find a way to play up the fun, social and rewarding aspects of birding. Our strategy: bring birding to users' natural habitat, the internet, repositioning birding as a contemporary, accessible activity.

Launch the campaign
Published
October 2012
Topics

The Story

Make birding "cool". Really? The National Audubon Society asked us to make birding relevant, even cool, for a new era. The problem is, birding hasn't been cool since the early 20th century. With membership falling, Audubon needed to appeal to a new digitally savvy audience to maintain the health of their non-profit organization. Non-birders perceive birding as tedious and dull, so we needed to find a way to play up the fun, social and rewarding aspects of birding. Our strategy: bring birding to users' natural habitat, the internet, repositioning birding as a contemporary, accessible activity.

How do you fill the internet with birds? We brought birding online by recreating the pastime in the digital world. We released thousands of life-like 3D birds on the internet for new birders to spot, engaging them in a four-week birding expedition across social media platforms, over 1,000 websites and blogs. After a bird was spotted, a collector card was added to players’ “aviary” on the Facebook app. It pushed players to follow our “guide birds” on Twitter for clues on where to spot birds. Players could also install a birdhouse scriptlet to attract birds (and other players) to their blog.

The Technology

The Results

Birding The Net wasn’t just an “innovative social media campaign” or an “addicting online game”. It used a range of digital solutions to recreate the thrill of birding online and introduced the next step: birding in real life, off-line and outdoors. “I found 22 birds and can’t wait to go in real life,” said 11-year-old Sarah (in an email to Audubon).

15 min.

average spent per app visit

9x

More Facebook Fans

52%

Jump in online donations

Launch Date Oct. 10, 2011