Friday, 12 August 2016

can packaging public transport learn anything from the Olympics?

I tend to watch sport pretty much all year round, with the bulk of my viewing hours built around football, rugby and boxing.

And when the Olympics come round, I'm like a kid in a sweet shop - lots of sport everywhere for a short, intense period of time. But I always surprise myself with the things I find really enjoyable, things I have never shown any interest in whatsoever.

Gymnastics, Slalom canoeing (I think that's the right term), Cycling and Judo have all had the benefit of my attention these last few days. And I guess that's what happens when lots of different sports congregate under one roof, under one collective banner, and the media make them easy to watch.

You end up watching a bit of this, a bit of that and finding yourself enjoying all of them.

So how does this relate to anything transport? Whenever public transport is promoted, it always seems to be as individual modes, rather than a cohesive 'movement'? There's no 'Festival of everything other than the car' that has every option under the sun to encourage people to leave their car keys at home for the odd journey.

Just as I'd never shown any real interest in gymnastics until I was exposed to it, a tram user might never have considered getting the bus to work until they find themselves somewhere with that information readily available.

After all, everyone bangs on about travel being integrated but barring the odd exception (the likes of PlusBus) when is it actually packaged and marketed as such?

So come on people, how about an annual festival under one big roof - 'Everything you wanted to know about public transport but were afraid to ask'.

I know a good agency who could do the marketing.

why is creative sometimes an after-thought in campaigns?

For too many years and on too many projects, we have been getting the same type of calls from clients.

They go something like this...

Client: "We've been working on this really important fares campaign/network change/new route etc (delete as appropriate) for ages now and we're ready to talk about the marketing campaign"

Us: 'Great. When does it need to be ready"

Client: "Next week but if you can do anything sooner that would be great'.

The timescales are exaggerated (only slightly though) but the point needs to made. If too little time is allocated to the customer communication element of a campaign, then its success can be jeopardised. The customer may only get to see and know about the tip of the iceberg but that is the only bit that is relevant to them.

They don't care about your strategy. They care about what's said, how easy it is to understand, and what's in it for them - and doing justice to those messages takes time, and no little effort.

So if you want your campaign to be noticed, and therefore effective, please give us the time required to do a great job. Your agency's priority is to please your customers, not necessarily its own clients.