Last year, longtime client York Region Transit (YRT/Viva) launched a new kind of rider safety campaign by Acart. This year, it was recognized by the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) with a Marketing and Communications Leadership Award, and by the Toronto chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) with an Ovation Award of Merit.
Where most campaigns of this type aim to preach or terrify, we wanted to reach people through lighthearted humour. It worked well.
Modelled on classic one-page Public Service Announcements, the York Region Man series of comic strips deliver critical safety information to transit users without making them feel defensive. Advice like “use the crosswalk” is just common sense. By comically overstating it as an act of heroism, the campaign reinforces how basic safety really is.
YRT/Viva shared the full comic strips on their website and social media channels, while teaser messages and images ran on Facebook Newsfeed Ads targeted to students, Digital Screens at York University, Interactive Web Banners, and Mobile Geo-Fencing.
As a behaviour change campaign, we’re still in the awareness stage, so visibility and engagement are the key measurements of success. Of the various measurable media, our highest click-through rate (CTR) was with Facebook, at .855%. (For context, consider that industry benchmark is .02% CTR!) The Facebook ads linked to the YRT/Viva Facebook Page, which earned more than 200 new “likes” from direct campaign engagement. Out-of-home ads at York University are estimated to have had more than two million impressions among the target audience.
We’d like to congratulate YRT/Viva for being true innovators in public transit marketing. We’re proud of the work we do with them, and are looking forward to creating YR Man 2: The Sequel — coming soon!