All aboard the express train.

When West Midlands Combined Authority approached us to advertise their direct debit service, we started at the end – by understanding the audience and their behaviour. Switching a daily, weekly or even monthly ticket to a direct debit could save you over £100 – a great saving. But a lot of long-term daily commuters would have already switched to a direct debit – hassle-free and money saving – as Martin Lewis would say, it’s a no-brainer. 

Our key audience was more than established users. New daily users might not know about the direct debit option or be feeling the service out before committing. Those who don’t travel every day might think they wouldn’t save money. The convenience of a direct debit is a key factor to these audiences – sign up and it’s one less thing to think about.

The first rule of any advertising is to get noticed, so with this in mind we played on the humble service announcement board and added a touch of observational humour – a tongue-in-cheek apology for the inconvenience caused by having extra cash in your back pocket and more time on your hands.

The campaign ran for a month across outdoor media in transport placements – bus stops, train stations and key billboard locations – as well as in the Metro newspaper. This was backed up with targeted social media and digital advertising and a PPC programme. Direct debit applications increased 21% compared to the same period last year, showing that a little humour can go a long way.


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