Earlier this year, we landed a rather prestigious new transit account: YRT/Viva, in the Regional Municipality of York.
We have long promoted ourselves as Canada’s transit advertising specialists, and we have had great success in relaunching transit brands like OC Transpo, Kingston Transit, Canadian Urban Transit Association and Smart Commute. But each new system is a unique challenge, and we could hardly wait for our first assignment.
And it was a challenging one: crack down on fare evaders.
The first thing that became apparent to us is that we couldn’t be preachy. We are primarily talking to a youth audience, and the “law and order” appeal just isn’t going to work.
Instead, we took a denormalizing appraoch, developing several concepts that positioned “cheating” as something that was socially objectionable, and that getting caught was a humiliation. But we also wanted to have fun with it.
The insight behind this winning concept was that getting caught without fare was like getting caught with your pants down. Plus, there’s that classic nightmare phobia of finding yourself undressed in public.
A few refinements, a fun photoshoot and lots of design & production work later, and we were out in the system.