September 16, 2014, New York, NY — The Rainforest Alliance has announced a new platform for its annual Follow the Frog campaign. In partnership with the Guardian, a global leader in digital journalism, Follow the Frog 2014 will be a 10-month integrated experience designed to foster engagement with a growing population that cares about sustainability and want to take action in their daily lives.
Follow the Frog will come to life on the innovative, online platform, entitled Vital Signs, with a mix of fresh, educational and interactive content that will raise awareness of some of the world’s greatest challenges – including climate change, deforestation, water quality, poverty and gender issues – and promote daily choices that can make a difference. The partnership, which is designed to inspire and activate global audiences to live more mindfully, will include contributions from the Rainforest Alliance and its partners and will shed light on how we are all working together to overcome some of the greatest challenges facing the planet today.
The Guardian, in addition to its value-based, independent journalism, has developed its own sustainability vision and strategy. The Vital Signs editorial platform will launch on Sept. 15, including content from the Rainforest Alliance’s Follow the Frog campaign, and where readers can subscribe and be part of the online discussion.
“There is no superhero that is going to save the planet, restore the forests, clean the oceans or turn the clock back on climate change. It’s up to us, we’re the heroes,” said Tensie Whelan, President of the Rainforest Alliance. “This year through our popular Follow the Frog campaign, along with the Guardian and collaborating companies, we aim to inspire and empower people, showing them how vital their everyday decisions are to the planet. It’s up to all of us and every choice we make matters.”
Unique features of the campaign will include a “heat map” data visualization that highlights growing audience participation in Follow the Frog and the Rainforest Alliance’s impact on critical environmental challenges worldwide, as well as an online contest entitled “Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes,” where audiences can win a chance to live with a producer family and document their experiences, digital journalism style.
The Rainforest Alliance is calling on companies committed to sustainability issues to contribute to the Follow the Frog campaign. Avery Dennison, Chiquita and Domtar have already signed on to be part of the new Vital Signs platform, enabling them to bring their own sustainability stories to life online. Each company will have its own partner zone with distinct, branded content.
Charlie Wilkie, Commercial Senior Vice President for the Guardian said, “We’re proud to work with the Rainforest Alliance and such a diverse set of partners to inform, engage and inspire consumers about the impact of the goods they consume and the role they can play in fostering a more sustainable quality of life.”
Clint White, President of WiT Media and marketing partner for Follow the Frog, said, “A content-driven brand partnership was the best way to take the campaign to the next level and achieve the impact we wanted, engaging audiences in contemporary, lifestyle-relevant ways. It brings Rainforest Alliance’s story to life and positions the organization at the leading edge of the hottest marketing trends – brand partnerships and digital storytelling.”
WiT Media, marketing partner for the Rainforest Alliance, conceptualized and managed this year’s coalition-based Follow the Frog campaign. Additionally Recyclebank, which rewards sustainable, everyday choices, will engage its members in Follow the Frog and offer extra incentives for participation through its rewards program. The campaign is further supported by Chiefgood, a non-profit organization that uses the power of digital advertising to give a voice to great causes.
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The Rainforest Alliance is a global non-profit that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior. The Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM seal is an internationally recognized symbol of environmental, social, and economic sustainability that helps both businesses and consumers identify products that come from sustainable sources and vote with their dollars to help support a brighter future. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.
Guardian News & Media (GNM) publishes theguardian.com, the third largest English-speaking newspaper website in the world (comScore, April 2014). Since launching US and Australia digital editions in 2011 and 2013 respectively, traffic from outside of the UK now represents around two-thirds of the Guardian’s total digital audience. In 2014, the Guardian was named newspaper and website of the year at the Society of Editors UK Press Awards.