Go RVing updates its ‘Wildhood’ campaign with a new call to action

Who: Go RVing, doug&partners for strategy and creative, Jungle for media and Agnostic for PR.

What: New advertising that slightly updates the marketer’s six-year old “Wildhood” platform. Until now it’s been “Bring back wildhood,” but this year it’s “Live your wildhood.”

When & Where: The creative is rolling out now and includes an updated website, TV and online advertising, with additional social and outdoor and a (virtual) presence at events like the Toronto Spring Camping & RV Show.

Why: Go RVing is a coalition of RV manufacturers, dealers and campground operators with a mandate to promote RVing as a lifestyle. For the past six years, the organization has used “Bring back wildhood” to evoke the joyous curiosity of childhood. It was meant to resonate with adults on a nostalgic level by letting them recall their own childhood, or suggesting that parents give their own kids the experience of an escape to nature.

Instead of a message about evoking the past, this year’s “Live your wildhood” campaign delivers a clear call to action, said Go RVing Canada president Chris Mahony. “It’s the importance of getting out there and actively making those memories, and not waiting to enjoy those less special moments in life.”

How: The anchor TV spot depicts three friends taking a road trip across the country in an RV to visit the father of one of the characters, although that’s just the backdrop for the story presented on screen. “It’s really about three of them, and the experiences that they have along the way—the people they meet, the campgrounds, the activities,” said Mahony.

In voiceover, the character’s father is responding to a question she asked about his advice for life. He can’t give her a formula, but  says that life isn’t a step by step guide but a journey that goes by quickly. “So my advice? Don’t wait. Don’t push down the feeling that calls you to wander, to wonder. Follow it down whatever path it takes you. And then, when you arrive, just live in the moments you find.”

It’s a very serious meaning-of-life message, but Go RVing believes RVs can transport people to truly meaningful moments and experiences—they let people make memories now with the people they love in beautiful places.

Is this about COVID? Yes and no. Certainly RV dealers and rental businesses have found new customers during the pandemic, and they expect increased interest this summer.

The call to get out and (safely) make memories while you can feels inspired by the onslaught of “what am I doing with my life?” self-reflection experienced by so many in the last 11 months. But Mahoney said that “Live your wildhood” was in development well before the pandemic, although he recognizes the tone and message may have added resonance for those who feel like they’ve been stuck inside and had to put life on hold for the last year.

And we quote: “We often push things to the side and we promise ourselves we’ll do something. Now we’re saying don’t wait any longer, bring that feeling out and go and do it.” — RVing Canada president Chris Mahony

David Brown