New Forest National Park Authority Tech Creche Case Study | Polygon PR

New Forest National Park

How the Tech Creche reduced traffic in the New Forest

New Forest National Park Authority: The Tech Creche

Brief

The New Forest National Park Authority was seeking to reduce the traffic on its roads, and increase the number of people enjoying the stunning scenery by public transport or bicycle.

Research

Our initial research revealed that one of the principle joys of the New Forest was its ability to be utterly tranquil and unspoiled by modern life. We also identified the ironic social trend that, despite increasing our connectivity with many people, the near constant usage of mobile devices led many people to lose touch with the people closest to them.
To develop our understanding, we commissioned consumer research into the trend of mobile device usage in society, and discovered that both parents felt their children spent too much time on their devices, but also that children felt their parents were ‘glued to their devices’, too. This led to some impactful statistics on how families relate to each other in the modern technological age, and revealed that both parents and kids wanted to spend more quality time together outdoors, without tech or car distractions.

Creative

It was important that we didn’t lecture our audience on the perils of traffic, and instead inspire them to see the forest in a new way. As such, we created the world’s first ‘Tech Creche’, run by the New Forest Travel Concierge at Brockenhurst, to offer the public a tech amnesty, where they could leave their mobile devices and car keys locked away all day.

Execution

We installed a lockable safe at Brockenhurst Station to become the ’Tech Creche’, and allow for easy access on all public transport. We then created a brand identity for the campaign, and educated all key travel advisors in the area to help drive on-the-ground awareness.

Video

We brought the ‘Tech Creche’ to life by way of video, creating a playful story of a young David Attenboroughesque character, narrating a wildlife-style narrative of a family giving up their gadgets and car keys to enjoy what really matters in life. The voiceover was delivered by Phil Cornwell (Alan Partridge, Stella Street).

Media Relations

We conducted a broadcast day with the authority’s spokesperson, and a leading family psychologist, who was able to shed light on the research. We also released the story to national, tech, travel, and consumer media.

Coverage

The campaign achieved an outstanding media response, covered by 12 nationals, 32 regionals, and 22 radio stations, with highlight coverage including 48 hours as a leading story on the Guardian homepage, and a documentary piece on BBC Radio 4.

Coverage included the following pre-campaign targets:

Results

The YouTube reach totalled nearly 70,000 for the launch period, with 3.625 million social media users engaged by the activity. The total AVE was £241,479, representing a 10:1 return on investment.

However, critically, the campaign’s goal of changing behaviours was successful with the usage of public transport around the national park up by 115% year on year.

Client Feedback

“We set Polygon the challenge of engaging a local and national audience, and make a real difference to the quality of life in the New Forest by inspiring a change of habits. The ‘Tech Creche’ was a wonderful idea, which really brought to life the key elements of the forest, and inspired people to change their travel habits. The brief was delivered to an exceptional degree, and the results and measurable deliverables Polygon delivered far, far surpassed the already high targets we set them. We have no hesitation in recommending them in the strongest possible way.”

Sion Donovan, New Forest National Park Authority