National Trust campaign puts volunteers at heart of new marketing strategy

The National Trust is putting its volunteers front and centre in a new campaign that it says will guide its marketing strategy for the next five years.

The 30-second ad, created by 18 Feet & Rising, launches on ITV tonight during Emmerdale and aims to demonstrate what staff and volunteers do behind the scenes each day at a wide range of National Trust locations.

Locations featured include historical properties, gardens and farms, while the voiceover is by Natonal Trust gardens expert Alan Power, who tends to 2,650 acres of grounds at Stourhead in Wiltshire.

The new spot contrasts with the National Trust’s first TV ad, launched in 2014, which focused more on the activities available for holidaymakers.

Mark Scott, the marketing agency director at the National Trust, told Campaign the volunteers-led focus would be the direction of travel for its marketing over the next five years.

He said: "Our cause as a conservation charity is what builds strong relationships to what we do and what we care about.

"We can’t survive without our volunteers. Through more people understanding our cause, that message will get heard.  It is about us caring for endangered species and talking more about that.

"The campaign itself is being true to that reciprocal relationship between our locations and the people that support them. That has been a positive impact with all of us. That is if it causes an emotional connection that is what that relationship is all about."

The ad was created by Alex Delaney and Oli O’Neill at 18 Feet & Rising and directed by Tell No One through Good Egg. Mindshare is handling the media planning and buying.