Friday, 25 February 2011

Tyne and Wear goes all Pop!

A new Smartcard initiative called 'Pop' has recently been launched in Tyne and Wear.

The scheme, which will continue to roll out over the next two years, sees ticketless travel introduced to all forms of public transport in the area. Users of the Metro, bus, ferry and rail systems will all benefit in a scheme that it is hoped can adapted for other retail, public and commercial uses in the future.

Congratulations must go to NESTI - the North East Smart Ticketing Initiative - not only for investing in the scheme in the first place but having the balls to challenge things creatively.

Firstly they have gone for a short, catchy name in Pop (as in 'Pop in to town') and secondly they have gone for a design execution that is fun, bright and engaging.

As we've always said - you've got to give people a reason to change their behavior and be different in the way you do it.

Read more on the Pop revolution here.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Jedward help do the business for East Midlands Trains

East Midlands Trains walked away from the recent Rail Business 
Awards with a smile on their face - after a little help from Jedward.

The Stagecoach owned company who are based in Derby, won the Information Technology Excellence award for their Best Fare Finder tool, to sit alongside highly commended awards for the launch of its megabusplus.com service and for the work it has been doing to improve safety among its drivers.

A marketing campaign (shown opposite), which used X-Factor twins Jedward to communicate messages about its fares, was also highly commended.

TOCs who are willing to do something different to raise awareness of their products are few and far between. East Midland, with what would have been a considerable investment to secure the services of the Irish brothers, have shown themselves willing to split from from pack.

Add promotions like their Red Dot Day to a simple yet striking visual style  - and it's not hard to see why they are near the top of their marketing tree.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

petrol rise poster misses the point

Does this poster really stop you and ask to be taken notice of?

Does it beg not to be ignored? Has it got a strong call to action? Is it well designed?

The answer to all four questions is I'm afraid, a resounding no.

Stagecoach have committed the cardinal sin of not attempting to be different. For some reason they have decided that a promotion with fuel rises at its core, should show a petrol pump - just like every other campaign making a comparison between rising fuel prices and static bus fares. And that, ladies and gentleman of the marketing fraternity, is my point.

According to Stagecoach the poster also pointed out 'how convenient and cheap bus travel is' but having read the 13 words of copy I can see no reference to convenience or cheapness. Can you?

Back to the drawing board for this campaign I'm afraid.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

local ale, local music... great train!

The Huddersfield to Sheffield Penistone Line service is not all it seems.

Throughout the year, the regular Northern Rail service becomes the Music Train - where local jazz musicians play tunes for the appreciation of the traveling public.

Throw in the chance to purchase on-board ales provided by a local brewery, and all in all, you have a service that likes to put a sense of enjoyment back in to train travel.

Great to see something that puts a smile on passengers' faces and should remind TOCs that just because you provide a service to the public - doesn't mean you can't think of fun ways to do it.

Click here to see when the Music Trains are due to run in 2011.