How we inspired the nation to unlock their summer with a single tap

More than a million people rely on First Bus every day, making it one of the UK’s largest transport companies. As their creative partner, we were tasked with creating a national integrated campaign. 

a photo of 4 young women with ice cream cones

The Brief

Bus travel was still down on its peak from before the pandemic. With so many commuting less, First Bus needed to diversify its customer base.

First Bus challenged us to increase bus travel across the UK during the summer months by appealing to leisure travellers like never before.

Strategy & Insights

Summer is all about the sun, fun, and the feeling of freedom. Yet due to the cost of living crisis, many anticipated spending less, travelling less, and limiting their experiences this summer.

Our strategy was to position First Bus as a refreshingly upbeat and surprisingly easy answer to all this doom and gloom—and all with a simple tap of your phone.

The Idea

We created a rallying call to build excitement and inspire the nation to travel by bus this summer. “Catch The Summer” encourages people to rethink their limitations and reclaim a bright and vibrant summer for themselves by travelling with First Bus.

Who knew the humble ticket machine would be the perfect portal into a vibrant and stress-free summer?

Hero Film

We created a hero film that captures the energy and joy of summer as each character steps out and is transported into their own unique experience.


An equally surreal series of radio ads amplified the energy of the main film and brought the ‘ooohs and ‘ahhhs’ that go along with taking the bus this summer.


To ensure campaign resonance on a local level, we also created an easy breezy internal guide that helped further spread the simple message of ‘Plan’, ‘Tap’, and ‘Catch the Summer’.

graphic showing multiple pages from the campaign playbook

We set out to build a campaign that would capture people’s imaginations across the UK. With ‘Catch the Summer’ MadeBrave has allowed us to continue to push the boundaries of what people would normally expect from a bus operator with a fun, vibrant, and playful approach.

John MacLean, Head of Campaign Strategy at First Bus

Behind the scenes

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