Any Bus, Any Day, Any Time
No Fuss, Go by nBus
West Midlands Combined Authority

Design One were approached by West Midlands Combined Authority who were looking for ongoing creative support for a huge ticketing campaign that would change the way their customers experience buying tickets for buses across the West Midlands.

Our brief was to launch a multi-channel campaign which could support Transport for West Midlands in promoting their new simplified nBus ticket whilst also combatting declining passenger numbers, reigniting enthusiasm for bus travel, inspiring new passengers and driving sales, despite a squeeze on consumer spending.

To communicate their message, we were asked to come up with a strong headline and strapline that could carry their campaign both digitally and in print. We had to find a ‘something’ that could quickly convey the positive changes being implemented, and to build relevance with several varied target audiences.

Our Travel Smarter! No Fuss, Go by nBus headline and strapline gave us the fluidity and versatility required to carry the campaign through several phases. One of the key challenges was maintaining the integrity of the design across the different marketing channels whilst ensuring consistency of message.

The campaign comes to life in a variety of channels, from high impact press placements such as Metro adverts, OOH, online video, radio, digital OOH and other integrated channels. Effective media planning ensures maximum impact is achieved to reach the West Midlands people, on and off the transport network.

Using imagery of real bus drivers in conjunction with regional landmarks and copy to convey strong messages, we presented bus travel as a compelling proposition to passengers, promising a friendly, reliable, affordable passenger experience.

Campaign Results

Design One has extensive experience working with both public and private sector organisations, many of which have multiple stakeholders, parent companies, sub-brands etc and this has proved invaluable throughout this project, working with West Midlands Combined Authority, Transport for West Midlands and the individual bus operators. Communication is key with so many stakeholders and so many marketing channels.

From conception to implementation, our solution has been shaped by research, brainstorming and close collaboration with West Midlands Combined Authority and their bus operators. To date, feedback from West Midlands Combined Authority, bus operators, bus drivers and a test market audience has been excellent.

The multi-channel campaign that we created produced significant results:

  1. Increased Awareness:  The campaign effectively raised awareness about the new nBus ticket, reaching a wide audience across digital, print, radio, and outdoor channels. Customer insight surveys across the region during the nBus campaign, showed that 52% of customers were now aware of the changes to ticketing.
  2. Passenger Numbers:  The decline in passenger numbers was halted and more people are adopting the nBus ticket for their daily travel needs, with over a 458% increase in sales.
  3. New Passengers:  The campaign attracted new passengers, including commuters who had not previously considered bus travel as their primary mode of transportation. Data gathered indicates that new passengers have increased by over 20% already.
  4. Sales Boost:  Despite the current squeeze on consumer spending, this led to increased sales of nBus tickets, demonstrating the effectiveness of the campaign. Since launch of the campaign, the nBus scheme has grown from 1.2 million sales per 4-week financial period to around 6.7 million sales.
Working with Emma and the Design One team has been a pleasure. Not only have they been responsive and patient with us, but they have offered advice and suggestions to help elevate the presence of the campaign creative.

We ran the initial concept through a customer testing group and with an overwhelming result their design was chosen for phase one of our campaign for ticketing. I’ve enjoyed working with the team and would happily recommend their agency.

Thank you again, team”.
Frances Hayden
Marketing Officer
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