Trees for Cities

Breathing new life into forgotten coastal areas

Trees for Cities Urban Poster


Trees for Cities is the only UK charity working at a national and international scale to improve lives by planting trees in towns and cities.

An important part of their work focuses on regenerating ‘forgotten places’.

This aspect of their work is about making a difference where it’s needed the most, by introducing essential green infrastructure into coastal areas where there is high social and economic deprivation.

These once thriving coastal towns have fallen into a steady state of decline, laregly due to a lack of local investment, work opportunity and a drop in visitors. There’s a common factor across all these areas: a significant lack of canopy cover.

By working with local businesses and councils, and coordinating community tree planting initiatives, the Trees for Cities programme has already helped some of these communities across the country.

On the back of this success, it was now time to take the broad and regenerative benefits of environmental greening to other forgotten coastal places.

So, our challenge was to create a campaign to help raise awareness of the Trees for Cities programme in these areas, by inspiring and engaging the local community, businesses and authorities.


We needed an idea that quickly communicated the transformational impact trees bring to us all, and their power to regenerate a community.

It was also important to champion the tangible benefits that planting more trees can bring to people, communities and business in that area, encouraging them to get involved.

At the centre of our multi-media campaign is the line ‘Breathe new life’. This device enabled us to talk both about the power of trees, as well as the tangible benefits, such as economic, social and wellbeing.

An absolute pleasure... With a limited budget and a tight timeframe, we were blown away by the creative insights and approach of everyone at theTeam, who took the time to fully understand the brief and deliver a campaign beyond our expectations.

Chris Owens, Head of Marketing Communications at Trees for Cities


The campaign places people of all ages and backgrounds at the heart of the solution.

Each images show a person taking a deep breath, as if their rejuvenated surroundings have literally breathed new life into them, they are often framed by an image of a tree – a simple, effective reflection of the Trees for Cities logo that shows a human standing, surrounded by a tree canopy.

For the campaign to feel relatable and have impact it was important that the portraits supported a diversity of people as well as settings. Equally, the framing tree photography needed to be diverse, as the work that Trees for Cities undertake in towns and cities can utilize many different species of tree.

Headline typography is bold and modern, with a body copy font that carries a dendritic quality. The core brand colours are augmented by a campaign colour palate that has a coastal feel in its slightly nostalgic use of pastel pinks, greens and blues.

The media strategy is to engage three key audiences: local authorities, the general public and businesses who could potentially fund the work. This gives us our three key calls to action; commit, amplify and invest.

With this in mind, media rollout is divided between audiences, with a highly targeted approach for local authorities and businesses followed by a bigger push into social and more traditional third sector channels for the general public.

This was such an enjoyable campaign to work on. Not only because of the communications challenge it presented. But also because of the cause, and the opportunity to be part of a movement delivering positive impact to some of the communities who need it most.

Their forensic approach early on to understand our goals and brand, combined with a collaborative and close working relationship throughout, was a recipe for success. From start to finish, we knew we were in good hands.

Chris Owens, Head of Marketing Communications at Trees for Cities

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