Car reduction schemes have seen major backlash this year, ranging from concerns with local planning, to targeted misinformation campaigns seeped with conspiracy.
This opposition is at risk of undermining Persuadables’, the 69% of the population who are undecided on climate change, opinion on transport related policies.
Usually, residents are asked to reduce car use for the sake of environmental impact alone, which are seen as restrictive and impractical. We know this doesn’t work.
Media Bounty project ACT Climate Labs partnered with Possible, an NGO enabling climate action on a local scale, to support their ‘Car-free Cities’ initiative in Birmingham with a positive spin.
The insights came from in-depth research conducted by ACT and Media Bounty on ‘the Persuadables’ and additional ethnographic research in Handsworth, Birmingham. This informed a creative approach that employed hyper-local cues that created familiarity and featured residents as trusted messengers delivering a benefits message.
- Misinformation campaigns surrounding low traffic and car reduction schemes, especially ULEZ, is rife and well-funded.
- Persuadables don’t trust climate messengers, including activists, journalists, and NGO’s.
- Brits are very attached to their cars. They provide them with freedom and a sense of status.
- A small budget meant we had to get creative with our media approach.
Nobody likes car free cities until it happens in their area, and everyone starts seeing the benefits of streets that are designed for people not cars: closer communities, better health, and cleaner air.
Instead of trying to convince people to reduce their car usage, ‘Bump into Brum’ showcased the social, health and community benefits of leaving the car at home: better air, health benefits, and the ability to socialize with the community. We featured local people from the Handsworth area to deliver our message and filled our visuals with cultural and hyper-local cues.
Budget was split across 6 channels including trusted media (out of home like billboards and posers, press, buses) and digital media (social media, display, digital media) to maximise impact.
Our use of positive messaging, local cast and cues led to a successful campaign both for Possible as a brand and for changing transportation behaviour for the better:
- We saw a 40% uplift in people agreeing with the statement "Neighbourhoods should be for people, not cars".
- All the ads had great creative feedback. The top three words to describe them being interesting (52%), informative (47%) and relatable (39%).
- People became more receptive to the idea that "having fewer cars is a good idea" from 61% agreement before, to 70% after the campaign ran.
- Positive brand associations towards Possible increased 27%
- 66% of people who related to the campaign were more likely to consider changing their behaviour to tackle the climate crisis in the next 6 months.
- 68% agreed that using people from Birmingham and 55% agreed that featuring elements of the city boosted the relatability of the campaign.
Bump into Brum
Media Bounty project ACT Climate Labs partnered with Possible, an NGO enabling climate action on a local scale, to support their 'Car-free Cities' initiative in Birmingham with a positive spin.