As coronavirus lockdowns continue lifting across America, Winnebago owners are in the mood to hit the road. And they're singing about it, too!
Creative shop Barkley invited members of the Winnebago community to film themselves performing Willie Nelson's classic travelin' tune "On the Road Again" and upload photos and videos from their favorite excursions.
You can sample some of their trippy UGC stylings in the compilation below:
That clip will run across Winnebago and National Park Foundation social channels. For each share, the former will donate $1 to the latter, up to $25,000.
"Listening to Winnebago's true believers on social media, we could hear how much they missed each other," says Barkley executive creative director Berk Wasserman. "With their national summer rally canceled and the country under quarantine, they needed something to bring them back together, to reconnect the camaraderie that built their community. The idea of a sing-along answered that desire, and 'On the Road Again' was just the hope-filled anthem that would get us there."
Naturally, "no other song was even a contender," he says. "This one may be the national anthem of restless, homebound travelers. Remembering the song from road trips with my dad and diving into the lyrics—it was perfect. It resonates with a deeper meaning for so many people, no matter their walk of life, whether they're making music, wanting to travel or longing for something more."
Barkley went the UGC route because "it wouldn't have felt true if we would have created an over-polished film that didn't feature [RV enthusiasts] at the heart of the creative," Wasserman says. "You can feel the love and the hope in each video and memory shared. The authentic moments throughout the piece we couldn't have orchestrated even if we tried."
Kia recently hit similar wanderlust themes, sans customer singing (thankfully).
Does Winnebago worry about a backlash for touting travel while Covid-19 still rages in some parts of the nation?
"During this time, we felt it important to balance safety and sensitivity in the work," Wasserman says. "The film is about connectedness and a reminder that the community can look forward to seeing each other again soon, whenever that may be."
So far in 2020, Winnebago reports an uptick in new buyers—more than 45 percent, compared with about 35 percent in previous years. So, it looks like folks really do want to get on the road—in many cases with a Winnebago for the very first time.
Director of Marketing – Matt Smith
Community Marketing Manager – Denise Hagen
Digital & Experience Marketing Manager – Kim Weckert
Product & Media Marketing Manager– Kelli Harms
Marketing Specialist – Cassy Eby
Chief Creative Officer - Katy Hornaday
Executive Creative Director - Berk Wasserman
Creative Director - Jo George
Associate Creative Director - Brandon Bennett
Senior Copywriter - Matt Wink
Executive Producer - Melany Esfeld
Producer - Hillary O'Rourke
Digital Producer - Richie Robbins
Strategy Director - Vaughn Allen
Associate Strategist: Katrina Chertkow
Social Director - Amy Do
Social Manager - Jake Mlnarik
SVP, Head of Channel Planning and Digital - Julie Levine
VP of Business Affairs and Talent Management - Anne Thomasson
VP of Data-Driven Marketing - Jessica Best
Email Marketing Manager - Corey Eaton
Junior Cinematographer - Amanda Moy
Creative Production Director - Dustin Schirer
Motion Designer - Haley Hennier
Senior Project Manager - Caty Neis
Client Experience Officer - Stephanie Parker
EVP, Brand Leader - Amanda Abar
VP, Brand Leader - Justin Sutton
Senior Brand Manager - Emily Healy