A Case Study
The Go-Ahead Group is a global transport company stretching from Sussex to Singapore. In England alone, they oversee eight regional bus companies. Towards the end of the UK lockdown, they came to us with a big question — how could they encourage people to start using buses again, in a climate of uncertainty and confusion? Their team had worked hard to create a cleaner, safer transport experience for all. Yet understandably, many commuters were hesitant to get back on board.
We knew straight away that we had various factors to juggle. Firstly, we wanted all communications to be positive, avoiding mask imagery or sombre copy (we decided people had seen enough of that). Secondly, as different commuters have different reasons to travel by bus, we’d need a range of target messages. Finally, as each regional bus company had its own colours and logos, our approach would have to be very flexible.
We decided that Go-Ahead needed a creative and dynamic ‘cross-brand toolkit’ that contained adaptable visuals and targeted messaging that was resistant to potential future changes in Government policy. We found visual inspiration in the pavement art created by children during lockdown. In a show of shared courage, young people had chalked rainbows, suns and stick figures on streets across the UK. It was simple, spirited and optimistic. What if we could capture some of that magic for Go-Ahead?
Inspired by this street art that referenced the nation’s collective lockdown in a positive way, we developed visual iconography that included regional-specific landmarks paired with chalk-style typography. Together, these different messages could resonate with different commuters — highlighting either the safety, sociability and/or green benefits of taking the bus. Finally, we made sure the finished assets worked within the brand guidelines of each of the eight bus companies. The result? An energetic and flexible brand toolkit that encouraged people across Britain to get back on board our buses. Go-Ahead then turned to O&G to support with the media planning and booking for OOH (Out of Home) advertising, alongside a broad range of owned channels.