West Midlands Combined Authority approached us to advertise their direct debit service. Switching a daily, weekly or even monthly ticket to a direct debit could save you over £100 – a great saving. But a lot of long-term daily commuters would have already made the switch.
Turning instinct into action
We started at the end – by understanding the audience behaviour – identifying three mindsets. New daily users who don't know about the direct debit option. Daily users who haven't got round to switching. And those who don’t travel daily and don't think a direct debit would save them money. The saving is an obvious message for the first two groups, but the convenience of a direct debit is key to all audiences. Sign up and it’s one less thing to think about.
The first rule of any advertising is to get noticed, so with this in mind we took inspiration from the humble service announcement board. People are on autopilot on their commute so taking cues from a communication style they'd be tuned into noticing – as it could affect their journey – sought to disrupt and engage. Adding a touch of humour – a tongue-in-cheek apology for the inconvenience caused by having extra cash in your back pocket and more time on your hands – sought to raise a smile and so be more memorable.
The campaign ran for four weeks across outdoor media on bus stops, in train stations and at key billboard locations – as well as in the Metro newspaper. This was backed up with targeted social media advertising and a PPC programme.
- 21% increase
- In direct debit sign-ups compared to same period last year
We loved the creative Big Cat pitched to us for our commuter campaign encouraging people to pay for their transport by direct debit. They clearly put thought into making the ads stand out on the daily commute and used light hearted copy which people could relate to.Rachel Foy, Communications and Engagement Manager
Using borrowed interest and humour to establish a habit
West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) needed more people to choose their direct debit service. Switching could save travellers over £100 – a great saving! But a lot of daily commuters had already made the switch. Defining audiences and understanding behaviour would be key.