John Ayling & Associates

The Original Independent Media Specialist. The media agency that backs the underdog.

London, United Kingdom
Founded: 1978
Staff: 50


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Palmers Green: Celebrating reforestation with train station take-over

by Caroline Ayling

Introducing the Palmer's Forest

Palmer’s, the UK’s leading cocoa butter skincare brand, has committed to creating a new forest in Cameroon, Africa alongside partner Tree Nation. The Palmer’s Forest aims to plant 24,000 trees over 24 hectares, approximately 33 football pitches. The forest will offset around 12,000 tonnes of CO2 during its 150 year lifespan, equivalent to 13,505 flights from London to New York.

Palmer’s chose to plant the forest in Cameroon, as it is the fourth largest producer of cocoa butter in the world, the main natural ingredient used in the brand’s products. The forest will also address soil erosion, assist with food insecurity and the unsustainable farming practices of smaller cocoa farmers. Through the intercropping of multipurpose trees and fruit trees, this project is helping 500 cocoa farmers grow higher quality cocoa beans while improving the land and livelihoods.

Consumers simply have to buy a Palmer’s product and scan their purchase receipt in order to plant two trees in the forest.

The Challenge

Palmer’s challenged John Ayling & Associates to raise awareness of the brand’s commitment to reforestation with a modest budget. Specifically:

1) Promote reforestation message and its benefits through an engaging, positive and clever experience without breaking the bank

2) Increase consumers registrations to plant trees via the Palmer’s Forest website

3) Create social media buzz

Bringing reforestation to life

Whilst the topic of reforestation is addressing a serious and pressing global challenge, our approach to the brief was to be playful yet poignant. We wanted to bring the Palmer's Forest to life and create an execution that physically put reforestation in the hands of the public and fully immersed them. There are just some projects where it’s best not to over think and let the simple and obvious solution shine...

The Big Idea: Re-branding Palmers Green train station to Palmer's Green

Our solution was simply obvious, the insertion of an apostrophe into one of TFL’s commuter stations in north London for two weeks from end of August to first week of September 2022. The station was subtly rebranded Palmer’s Green using the brand’s logo and colours.

Palmer’s wanted commuters to visualise the environmental impact of reforestation by adding plants and greenery to the station. Our challenge was to make this more than a logo badging exercise but to really create a sensory impact than truly engaged the audience. We did this by:

  • The re-branded entrance to the station had two diffusers providing commuters with the sweet scent of coconut synonymous with the brand’s products
  • The staircases were garnished with preserved foliage and key messages and QR codes driving commuters to the Palmer’s Forest website
  • A 48 sheet featured hundreds of free seed papers for commuters and passers-by to take home and grow their own thyme plant, putting plant growth directly in their hands
  • A green and leafy living wall that also integrated existing plants managed by the Palmer’s Green Action Team
  • Smaller planters throughout the station were planted and looked after beyond the takeover to make sure it remains as green as possible for longer

In order to amplify the campaign beyond the Palmers Green community, stills and video content was captured to be used across the brand’s social media channels. The video brought to life the build of the OOH installation including the living wall and stairwell planting. In addition, selected beauty influencers were invited to the station to see the OOH installation first hand.


The two week long Palmer’s Green campaign was a great success:

  • Footfall of 74,098 through the station over the two week period seeing the green take-over first hand
  • 750 seed papers distributed on the 48 sheet providing local commuters with the opportunity to grow their own thyme plants
  • The activity was a resounding success with the local community. The Palmers Green Action Team ran an online survey to see if the OOH installation was welcomed by the locals; 80% of responders said that they ‘loved’ the activity
  • Palmer’s Forest website registrations increased by 15% after the first week of takeover
  • Successfully achieved against all social media targets with more than 99% positive sentiment on social media with great positive retweets including verbatim comments:


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