Newsworks Omnimedia Award
Disney Nature’s Chimpanzee – A collaboration between The Guardian and
AV will always be important to Disney campaigns. The positive correlation between trailer views and
ticket sales forms the foundation of most of our campaigns. This reasoning, however, means that
press brands tend to receive very small budgets if any at all.
Chimpanzee appealed to a more niche audience than most Disney films, which allowed us to take a
different approach. AV was still vitally important, so by bringing together Nickelodeon for the
younger target audience and The Guardian for its green credentials and reach amongst teachers and
parents, we appealed to all of our target audiences in unison with one highly engaging and
Background and Objectives
Disney were looking for an integrated partnership to deliver a social and ethical campaign that
would excite and engage children as well as parents. Disney Nature has not previously been a
priority in the UK and this was the first time that a considerable budget had been put aside for a
Nickelodeon took on the role of engaging with children by creating entertaining content that
generated excitement amongst the younger audience but we also needed to target parents as well
as teachers in order to encourage participation with the content in homes and schools. The Guardian
tackled this part of the brief and also attempted to educate the audience about the environment.
As with most Disney films, our overall aims were to generate awareness, create talkability and
excitement around the release and position as a film for parents and children to see, ultimately
driving ticket sales.
Insight and Strategy
Chimpanzee was released in cinemas in the first week of May 2013 as Summer arrived, allowing us
to dial up the nature elements of the campaign, perfect for the environmental and social objectives
of our strategy.
Via Google trends, we also noticed that specific releases generated more interest than the Disney
Nature brand itself. Earth Day, an event credited with launching the modern environmental
movement, receives much higher search volumes than both Disney Nature and the specific releases.
Therefore this provided us with an opportunity to tie in the campaign with Earth Day and re-engage
the family audience with both the Disney Nature brand and this annual event. We needed to find a
niche for Chimpanzee to avoid competing with the big players. The Earth day and Nature tie-in were
important hooks, which enabled us to deliver cut through in a competitive blockbuster landscape.
Our target audience of “Happy Families” are a “green” audience but interest in all things green had
seen a drop off in the last few years. We wanted to use Chimpanzee as the catalyst to re-engage this
audience with their care for the environment and their passion for environmental education.
This educational direction then formed the perfect path into creating a credible route into schools
and family homes, bringing teachers, parents and children together by creating educational and
engaging content for them to interact with.
The Guardian brand provided an ideal platform to reach both teachers and parents interested in the
environment and educational pieces. Guardian readers are 114% more likely to work in education
and 45% more likely to read nature articles (Source: TGI)
To complete the strategy and make it a well-rounded campaign, we needed to reach out to the
children themselves. Bringing in Nickelodeon to tie in with the Guardians green and parental
credentials, allowed us to engage with children and increase their interest in environmental issues
and the film itself.
We created microsites for the Guardian and Nickelodeon which fed through to each other, thus
allowing us to be specific to each audience, whilst ensuring a fully rounded campaign.
The Nickelodeon branded content hub included an activities page for children, competition pages,
simple quizzes and information about the film. This ran alongside a 30” TV spot on Nickelodeon
utilising film footage with a call to action to encourage viewers to the shared hub.
Traffic drivers in the form of MPU’s and leaderboards on the Nickelodeon website also encouraged
users to the hub.
The Guardian branded content hub was tailored to be more informative and appeal to teachers and
parents who would like to take their children through environmental issues, whilst also engaging
with the Chimpanzee content. This content included downloadable PDF’s, activities to complete in
schools or at home and a feature on the top 10 nature books and this was situated within the
Environment section of the Guardian’s website, therefore reaching existing Green enthusiasts.
Although the bespoke content lived online, we utilised the variety of The Guardian’s print products
by reaching out to different audiences via the array of different sections that the Guardian has to
A number of promotional ads were designed to increase awareness of the release and drive traffic
towards the content hub. We strategically placed these ads within main news, G2, and the Family
section in order to reach our array of different audiences. Newspaper sections provide us with the
ability to segregate our audiences and tailor the messaging to appeal to them in a bespoke way.
The combined attributes of the Guardian and Nickelodeon meant that we could build a well-rounded
campaign, tailored to targeting our different audiences as well as delivering on all of our usual
The microsites delivered 22,000 unique users across the 4 week campaign with an average dwell
time of just under 3 minutes, which shows the high levels of engagement due to the quality of the
content and the excitement that it generated.
The Guardian understandably delivered a majority of these unique users, based on the huge scale of
the website and the drivers from its printed counterpart. Dwell times were relatively even across the
Guardian and Nickelodeon microsites, which illustrates how well we managed to develop content
that suited the demographics of the audience.
This level of engagement is further demonstrated by the fact that over 12% of users took the time to
enter the competitions.
One of our key metrics was to increase excitement amongst our audience for the brand and
ultimately the Chimpanzee film itself. Research from the AOP (Association of online publishers)
proved that our strong mix of online and offline activity did exactly that:
A controlled group of people, who were only notified of the film and not exposed to any of
the partnership, only 38% said they were excited by the prospect.
We saw a 9% jump in levels of excitement from those that were exposed to the online
We saw an even larger increase, up to 51%, in those that were exposed to both online and
This shows that the mix of online and offline together brought about a faster association with the
film and completely justified our reasoning behind using the Guardian brand as a whole.
The budget for this plan had shrunk considerably by the time we made the final plans but we
continued to push this non-traditional route as we genuinely believed that a standard TV campaign
wouldn’t be effective on this release. The Disney client completely agreed:
“Just to reiterate how pleasing this is to see. Very much the way of thinking we want to encourage… [it’s]
the way we approached the challenge that was important.”