Cohn Godley Fashions Ads For Mass. Audubon

Image Effort Seeks to Drum Up Members
BOSTON-In an attempt to increase membership and shift its image from a group of suburban bird-watchers to guardians of land and wildlife, the Massachusetts Audubon Society has launched its first image campaign.
Cohn Godley Norwood created the pro bono effort, which is running through the fall and includes a 30-second television commercial, two 60-second radio spots, newspaper ads, posters, direct mail executions and a Web site.
One poster shows an open meadow with trees dotting the horizon. A lighted billboard reads, “Coming soon . . . 12-theatre cineplex. Leaving soon . . . every plant, mammal, bird and reptile that lives here.” Body copy explains, “Every year, more than 20,000 acres of land in Massachusetts are lost to development. Progress may be inevitable, but nature is irreplaceable.”
Ads in The Boston Globe tout the benefits of joining the society-free admission to sanctuaries, discounts on summer programs for kids and special events-and offer a 50 percent discount on membership dues. The radio spots and TV commercial also promote a free brochure.
“While the Massachusetts Audubon Society enjoys 70 percent awareness within the state, misperceptions about the organization’s mission and a decline in charitable giving were contributing to a flat line in membership,” said agency president Ben Godley. “This campaign is designed to refocus the public on the importance of their mission to protect the land and wildlife within our state.”
The Lincoln, Mass.-based society, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, is attempting to increase its membership 40 percent by the year 2000.
To this end, marketing director Kristi Kienholz tapped Boston market research firm McKinsey & Co. to conduct a statewide survey. Cohn Godley incorporated those results into the campaign, which targets the “best prospects for membership,” including families with young children, former members and mission supporters, according to agency official Alicia Federico.
The Boston shop was named the organization’s first agency of record last winter following a review.
The society is New England’s largest environmental group. It protects more than 27,000 acres of land and 36 public wildlife sanctuaries in Massachusetts.