When we couldn’t get into parks, CPAWS brought BC parks to us

A thorny problem

In summer 2020, at the height of the pandemic, parks across British Columbia were shuttered. We were stuck at home with rambunctious kids, endless Zoom calls and anxiety about how COVID-19 would affect our long term health and livelihoods.

The BC chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) knows connecting with nature improves our physical and mental wellbeing. It also knows that when people  connect with nature, they’re more inclined to value and protect it. But, with in-person events off the table, CPAWS needed a totally new way to bring its message about the importance of parks and protected areas into our homes.

Navigating the wilderness

With award-winning illustrator Steve McDonald, we designed  downloadable colouring pages with scenes from four iconic BC parks to entertain adults and kids bored at home. We emailed colouring pages to existing  supporters and others could get them by joining the CPAWS-BC email list.

A sample of the colouring pages we created (finely coloured in by Darren).

Out of the woods

Offering an at-home activity was a completely new campaign tactic for CPAWS-BC. Not only did the colouring pages provide much-needed levity during lockdown, they were the best lead generation activity of 2020 for the organization. We introduced parents and colouring enthusiasts to the pages via Facebook ads and nearly half of them downloaded the colouring pages in exchange for their email address. That’s a 48% conversion rate! The cost was roughly half the average cost per acquisition for CPAWS-BC’s lead generation activities. Most notably, we followed these new leads across the remainder of 2020 and saw that they performed just as well as leads collected in person.

A few months later, BC Parks even launched a colouring page of their own (but, we like ours better).

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