Press Release

US Forest Service and Ad Council Launch New Multimedia Public Service Advertising Campaign to Encourage Hispanic Families to Discover Nature

Effort Coincides with National Get Outdoors Day and Will Be Supported by Spanish-Language Version of Discover the Forest Website and Facebook Page to Reach New Audience Nationwide

Washington DC, (June 8, 2012) — In an effort to motivate Hispanic families to get outside more often and reconnect with nature, the Ad Council and the U.S. Forest Service have launched the Descubre el Bosque public service advertising campaign, an extension of their popular English-language Discover the Forest campaign started in 2009.

The aim of this campaign is to increase Hispanic visits to the Nation’s forests and grasslands, as well as to help them develop a love of nature and an understanding of their role in protecting it.

Latinos make up 23 percent of the under-18 population in the United States yet only 5.8 percent of youth who participate in outdoor recreation are Hispanic, according to The Outdoor Foundation report. This is of startling concern because time in nature brings many physical, emotional and mental benefits to children.

Children spend less time outdoors due to an increase in the number of working parents and the development of new technologies that capture free time indoors. As a result of this limited interaction with the outdoors, many families are unaware of the benefits that nature provides children, including improving their physical and mental health and emotional well-being. Research shows that children who play outside have lower stress levels and more active imaginations, become fitter and leaner, develop stronger immune systems and have greater respect for themselves and for others.

The Spanish-language public service ads, produced pro bono by Totality, target parents and guardians of tweens (children ages 8 -12) and feature TV, radio and outdoor material that showcase how nature can provide the ultimate escape from the stress of our daily lives. Following three Latino families, each of whom works hard to balance schoolwork, jobs, family time and more, the ads reinforce that these forested destinations are ideal sites for family enjoyment and are often much closer than people perceive.

These efforts will be supported through the campaign website,www.descubreelbosque.org, and a corresponding Facebook page,www.facebook.com/descubreelbosque. Both platforms include interactive games, a list of activity ideas and a convenient forest locator, powered by NatureFind and GoogleMaps, which allows users to find the closest forest or park to them.

“We welcome everyone to America’s national forests and grasslands. They are the nation’s backyard,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “More than 245 million people live within 100 miles from these treasures. Even for those Americans who live further, especially those in urban areas, your Forest Service backyard experiences will become lifetime memories.”

“According to our research, many Hispanics have misconceptions about how close they are to a forest. The fact is that most Americans live in relatively close proximity to some form of forest, park, or grassland, and can easily take a day trip,” says Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We want to get the word out that not only are forests and parks a wonderful place to visit and escape the stress of daily life, but they are much closer to us than we think.”

“We were thrilled to be able to participate in this project with the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council because it provided us a great opportunity to not only talk about the beauty of our nation’s forests and parks but also the relationship that Hispanics have with nature,” said Mauricio Galvan, CCO at Totality. “With the work that we created, our objective was to make Hispanics realize just how close their nearest forest is and that an escape out of the daily routine and stress is just a short trip away.”

The Ad Council has partnered with the U.S. Forest Service since 2009 on the Discover the Forest campaign encouraging families to unplug and reconnect by getting outdoors and enjoying the wonders of nature. This is the first year the campaign has produced Spanish-language PSA materials.

U.S. Forest Service
The U.S. Forest Service (www.fs.fed.us) manages 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands for the American Public. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The U.S. Forest Service is the agency responsible for overseeing the use of Smokey Bear in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and The Advertising Council.

The Advertising Council
The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.

Totality, a Havas Company
Totality is the Multicultural arm of Havas (Euronext Paris: HAV.PA) a global advertising and communications services group. Headquartered in NY, Totality works with two Havas Business Units, Euro RSCG Worldwide and Arnold Worldwide, in order to optimize synergies and further reinforce Totality and Havas’ position as the most integrated of all of the major holding companies. Totality offers a broad range of communications services, including traditional and non-traditional advertising for the Hispanic, African American and GLBT markets.

Press Contacts:

U.S. Forest Service
Press Office
202-205-1134

The Ad Council
Ellyn Fisher
212-984-1964
efisher@adcouncil.org

Totality
Leo Olper
212-463-1102
leo.olper@totalityhavas.com

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