Guest Columns Interesting and Timeless
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Blazing a trail for the Ramblers Let’s Walk Together campaign

When the Ramblers asked Immediate to develop a campaign to grow awareness of the charity’s activities, boost web traffic and drive membership, we put our best foot forward.

It was a brief that really excited the team at Imagine, our creative and content studio, because we believe in the lifestyle benefits the Ramblers promotes and the efforts it makes to maintain the UK’s world-class network of paths, tracks and trails.

The opportunity to work on the project came via the Ramblers media agency Love Sugar Science. We were asked to develop and pitch a content concept that would immediately connect with and broaden the Ramblers audience; an idea that could be a fantastic platform to communicate key messages and help meet the outlined aims.

Imagine came up with the innovative ‘Let’s Walk Together’ campaign, designed to encourage people to pledge to walk a certain number of miles in 2022. For extra motivation, everyone pledging miles is entered into a prize draw.

Alongside our strong brand proposition and scaled audience, we also put forward the strong argument that magazines enjoy high levels of trust with engaged audiences –research has found that 70% of respondents trust magazine media –  to secure the project.

On the right track

All campaigns we work on come under a strategic lens and the planning starts with an understanding of what the client wants to say, to whom and why. The Ramblers had clearly defined aims: successive lockdowns have encouraged people to get out and about and enjoy and value the simpler pleasures of walking in nature, but there is a lack of awareness on the work the Ramblers does to make this possible. Everyone who likes taking a stroll is a potential member.

The Ramblers wanted to dispel the myth that it focuses only on large, organised groups and rambling means a challenging hike, whilst highlighting key initiatives which help maintain access to green spaces for the benefit of all, including its ‘Don’t lose your way’ campaign.

As the Ramblers Head of Brand Carol Flint says: “The charity does fantastic work to protect Britain’s paths, track and trails but it goes unnoticed by so many. This partnership is a fantastic opportunity to shine a light on that work and show that the Ramblers is about so much more than just walking groups.”

The ideal channels for the solution? Immediate brands with scaled reach with the Ramblers target audiences, many who already enjoy out-of-door pursuits and nature.

The brands we chose for this six-month campaign hit the target in terms of reach and demographic, including BBC Countryfile, BBC Wildlife, BBC Good Food, olive, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine and 220 Triathlon.

We know print works in engaging audiences but it works best as part of an omnichannel campaign, with an overlap of audiences digitally. This is especially true of a younger demographic. Ipsos Iris research shows online magazine audiences skew towards 25-34 years olds, and they over-index against the total online audience.

The Ramblers wanted to reach the widest potential audience but with a focus on 25-54 year olds and the brands have plenty of social activity lined up.

A farming face that fits

We had one more ace up our sleeve – identifying and securing a brand ambassador, who’s authentic and appeals across the target demographics, and Imagine has great access to talent, with television presenter and farmer Jimmy Doherty fitting the bill perfectly. Jimmy fronted the video content we’ve created for the social activity, talking with the Ramblers about their work and passion for the countryside.

As Jimmy says: “Not everyone wants to go to the gym or fork out for expensive exercise bikes. Simply going for a walk is really good exercise and taking a break from the normality of life is key.”

All the media activity is designed to drive traffic to the Let’s Walk Together microsite developed by Imagine, with content created specifically to appeal to our brand’s audiences, including foodies, young parents and naturalists, to help them get more out of doing the things they love – and drive awareness of The Ramblers.

We’ll be tracking the campaign and monitoring metrics, including brand awareness and sentiment towards the Ramblers and the potential membership leads generated.  

Working on the campaign has been a literal breath of fresh air and we’re really looking forward to helping our readers discover more about the joys of the great outdoors and what the Ramblers have to offer.

Jonathan Bown
Commercial Content Director, Immediate Media

Immediate Media Co is a special interest content and platform company, home to over 1,000 people across three business units. Immediate operates over 70 consumer brands and sells over 39 million magazines each year. With over 1.2 million active subscribers, we are the UK’s leading publisher by subscribers. Our wholly-owned brands include Radio Times, olive, Girl Talk, Homes & Antiques, Cycling Plus, Bike Radar, MadeForMums, and Mollie Makes. We publish BBC Good Food, BBC History magazine, BBC Gardeners’ World magazine, BBC Science Focus and the CBeebies portfolio, under licence from BBC Studios, BBC Top Gear on behalf of BBC Studios and children’s titles for LEGO and Disney.