York Region Transit/Viva – YRT Safety: Putting a colourful spin on simple messaging

How do you engage an audience with basic, common sense safety messaging? This was the challenge we faced when we were developing a transit safety campaign for York Region Transit.

Instead of trying to avoid a preachy tone, we played it up in a fun way by putting the words in the mouth of a stereotypical superhero. Inspired by old comic book PSAs, our team created York Region Man to relay the transit safety messages through colourful illustrations and memorable scenarios.

In addition to the comic strip series designed for social media sharing, we created in-transit ads, web ads, and an online transit safety game.

On Twitter, our campaign generated over 175k impressions and had a 3.72% engagement rate, above the benchmark of 1-3%. Banners brought in an impressive 9.3M impressions, with more than 4.2M being unique, and we doubled the industry’s average click-through-rate at 0.18%.

This transit safety campaign went on to win two industry awards, including a Marketing and Communications Leadership Award from the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) and an Ovation Award of Merit from the Toronto-chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

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