have the bus and train companies got their awareness timings right?

Over the last couple of weeks, I've seen at least two bus company videos, alongside one from a rail company and one from a collective of rail companies.

All were brand-led pieces with decent budgets aiming to make their particular mode of transport top of mind now that Covid restrictions have been significantly lifted, and all were of a high standard.

For the best part of a year, with the 'stay at home & work from home if you can' messages coming from No. 10, both the rail and bus networks have been near enough redundant. As a result, marketing budgets were strangled with only essential service-related spending allowed - after all, what's the point in trying to sell your product if nobody can actually buy it, right?

Well, in simple terms, that point is brand awareness.  

The best time to advertise any retail product (assuming that is what we are classing public transport as) is when nobody else in your sector is spending any money, meaning you have the opportunity to gain an upper hand. Cheaper rates + less competition = overall better bang for your buck.

To gain that space in the back of customer's minds so, when push comes to shove in the purchase cycle, your brand gets the revenue.

Finance directors prefer short-term, promotion-led work because they can immediately see what the marketing team are getting in return for its spend. Brand-led, long-term work brings them out in a cold sweat.

The bus and train companies have waited until now to advertise and after doing nothing sales-wise for a year, are now overloading on awareness work, alongside the more targeted, tactical work you might expect. Yet the likes of Proctor & Gamble were able to maintain their ad spend during the Pandemic and are now reaping the rewards over their competition.

Maybe if one of the transport companies could have followed suit and carried their awareness campaign during the Pandemic, who knows what position they'd now be in now?

Either way, let's hope they've all got it spot on and those bums start filling seats pretty quickly.