Rethink Travel is an overarching integrated transport communications campaign to deliver public transport messages and influence passenger behaviour change during Covid-19 across the Liverpool City Region.
The campaign was a significant opportunity to make an important contribution to the city region’s response, recovery and on-going management to coronavirus.
Travelling through Covid-19
The brief was triggered by the national lockdown in March 2020 and the major implications it would have on the city region’s transport network in terms of service provision, capacity and passenger safety.
The core objectives were to:
- Influence customer behaviour on choice of transport mode and expectations of them when travelling, protecting the safety of staff and the general public.
- Manage customer expectations, ensuring they understood the rationale for the levels of service being provided
- Ensure customers who still needed to travel by public transport have access to relevant and timely information about services
Using this evidence, an overarching campaign concept was established – ‘Rethink Travel’. The concept was simple, instructional but emotionally engaging. It was flexible and would work whatever the message Crucially, it would also work under any national message e.g ‘Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.’
The overarching concept was supported by a positioning line which was positive, inclusive and built on the vital sense of togetherness: ‘We can all help keep each other safe’.
A detailed messaging framework was also developed to inform the campaign roll-out.
A visual identity was developed to bring the messaging to life using a flexible framework of illustrations, digital icons and photography; while still remaining on brand with LCRCA to provide a clear link to the ownership of the campaign.
The campaign was implemented across multiple channels from outdoor, news media advertising (print and digital), social media (organic and paid-for), videos and radio through to signage, uniform, print and more.
Campaign activity has been phased and targeted throughout the campaign to reflect the changing dynamics of Covid-19, encompassing direct informational messaging through to encouraging people to get active and walk or cycle to work rather than using cars, buses or trains. Similarly, the return to school and Universityrequired new phases to reassure and guide parents and students on how to travel safely – including a bespoke package for local schools.
Why it matters
Covid-19 is a once in a generation global crisis that has thrown every aspect of our lives into question. This means that clear and consistent communications has been more important than ever to help people make the right decision and keep themselves and others safe when travelling.
Having absolute clarity on the core messaging and visual identity has been crucial – the campaign has been delivered within an ever-changing landscape in which we have had to switch direction in a matter of hours due to a new Government directive.
Face covering compliance at 90%+ throughout
Use of the public transport network was higher than national average (e.g. bus patronage at 35% compared with 25% nationally), demonstrating the campaign reassured people who needed to use public transport that they still could