With the recent news that OC Transpo will be adopting the O-Train name for Ottawa’s long-awaited light rail system, a public transit brand Acart launched in 2001 will finally reach its full potential.
The original O-Train was a pilot project for rapid urban rail in Canada’s capital. The name seems obvious in hindsight: Calgary has had a “C-Train” since the ’80s. But the process involved generating several possible names (including “Capital Line” and “Rapid Rail”) before determining that “O-Train” was most suitable to Ottawa’s bilingual community. (Being a homonym with “au train” also makes for great wordplay in French!)
Long before the name — or even the specific train technology — was announced, our team created an exciting teaser campaign:
Then came the first version of the visual brand:
And finally, advertising to get Ottawa onboard:
If you look hard, you might recognize some former — and current — Acart people in that picture.
We’re all passionate public transit champions, as well as marketers, so we’re dedicating this “Throwback Thursday” (#tbt) post to Ottawa’s exciting future with light rail.
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