The recent Persil advert that claims children spend less time outside than prisoners in a maximum security jail has got us talking. Although the campaign from Persil is a step towards deepening their commitment to a cause they believe in, the efforts seem rather extreme. Rather than acting as a positive force for getting kids outside, the statistic has the potential to inflict fear and guilt in the parents that hear it. Here’s Persil’s new campaign alongside the efforts of two other brands tackling the same issue, but in a less extreme manner:
Taking a more radical approach to their “Dirt is Good” positioning, Persil is hoping to bring about behavioural change by encouraging parents to get their kids outside. They are also petitioning for an “outside” day in schools and are encouraging parents to sign up and get involved.
The National Trust have truly shifted their focus from showcasing royal grounds to encouraging kids to let loose on the grass and enjoy the simple pleasures that can be found outside. With their 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ campaign, and ‘Keep on the Grass’ signs they are championing play and fun in the great outdoors.
The recent adaptation of ‘Stick Man: tale of an unlikely hero’ celebrates the little adventures that can be had outdoors. There are also Stick Man activity trails run by the Forestry Commission across the UK, encouraging kids to get outside and revel in the joy of nature and play.
Why this is interesting…
Whilst Persil are showing that they are standing for something beyond their category, it is a slightly aggressive message. We love these far more joyful and celebratory approaches to encouraging children to embrace the great outdoors, as they are a much more palatable way to tackle the issue.