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Rainforest Alliance Partners with the Guardian on New 'Follow the Frog' Campaign

Rainforest Alliance has announced a new platform for its annual Follow the Frog campaign. In partnership with the Guardian, 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 an online platform called 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 Vital Signs editorial platform, launched Monday, includes content from Rainforest Alliance's Follow the Frog campaign, and allows readers to 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.

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.

“Domtar EarthChoice is our commitment to full circle responsibility and encompasses the entire lifecycle of our products — beginning in the forest and continuing through production, usage and even recycling,” notes Paige Goff, VP of Sustainability and Business Communications. “It’s a natural fit for Domtar to participate in this global campaign.”

Domtar’s association with Rainforest Alliance goes back to 2000 when Domtar forestlands in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York were awarded Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification by the Rainforest Alliance’s SmartWood Program. To this day, all Domtar FSC-certified EarthChoice products bear the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal.

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.”

WiT Media, marketing partner for the Rainforest Alliance, conceptualized and managed this year’s coalition-based Follow the Frog campaign. Additionally, Recyclebank, which rewards environmentally responsible 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 nonprofit organization that uses the power of digital advertising to give a voice to great causes.

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.”


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