When we pitched to First Bus to become their sole creative agency, we showed them different ways how they could bring two key campaigns, Kids Go Free and New Bus launch, to life. The campaign concept for the new buses ongoing advertising was readily agreed but both First Bus and ourselves wanted a ‘big bang’ for their launch. One idea for this launch was building a giant Hot Wheels-style toy box with a new bus inside, and sitting it in George Square. First Bus loved our campaign pitch, and the launch idea. So, all we needed to do was to make it happen …
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With the first of Glasgow’s 75 new buses scheduled for launch in October, we had three months to bring an idea on paper to life. With design, copy and the physical creation of the box, we were busy right up to the wire. During the night before the big day our Ops Director spent most of the night in George Square overseeing the building of the box, ready for the grand unveiling.
"We asked a number of creative agencies to pitch to us a concept we could roll out that would help do something different and eye-catching for our new bus launch. We then selected a marketing agency from the best pitch and the ‘toybox’ idea was by far the most innovative and creative idea that we saw and arguably led to one of the best bus launches of all time!"
Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director, First Bus
With the weather being typically Scottish, the dawn of ‘Bus in a Box’ day saw people braving the weather and stopping to revel in a unique sight, an actual bus in a box – 1:1 scale! First Bus were on hand to chat to passersby about the new bus features, Capital Scotland were there to open the new bus to the public and there was live entertainment — creating a true festival feel!
Even with the weather being a damp squib, there is no doubt that the bus in a box was a great success. With thousands of people stopping by over the day for a peak, TV camera crews filming it and a host of interviews with First Bus management, the launch of the new bus well and truly went with a bang! Live streaming on social media generated some 100k impressions for First Bus on the day and in the immediate aftermath. We also secured media coverage across a range of outlets, including The BBC News, The Scotsman, and several other publications.
The ongoing advertising campaign, that would run after the above experiential activity, was simple in its idea but visually inspiring. We wanted to show the new buses and their key features in situ, across Glasgow. Rather than using real photography, we created 3D renders of the buses, against the backdrop of famous Glasgow iconic landmarks. This execution quickly and concisely communicates the key messages; the fact that new buses have launched, their key features, and the routes they will be used on.
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