Yes I Wheel!

The challenge

Transport for West Midlands was awarded funds by DfT to deliver a cycling campaign before, during and after the Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022.

The focus was to use cycling to redress inequalities in the city region to enable those who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity or ability to cycle.

The goal was to encourage more people in the West Midlands from deprived communities, ethnic minorities, and vulnerable groups to take up cycling, using Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 as an inspirational catalyst.

The campaign aimed to target areas of IMD (index of multiple deprivations), across the West Midlands region.

  • BAME communities
  • Those with disabilities
  • Other locally identified vulnerable groups

Cycling for Everyone is aimed at being inclusive and accessible for everyone, not just for those who can cycle or for specific groups unless they say this is what they need.

The campaign targeted 1% to 3% of people living in the most disadvantaged communities in the West Midlands – approximately 30,000 people.

Turning instinct into action

We used our knowledge of behavioural science to hone in on three nudges that had a significant influence on behaviour:

  • Social proof – other people’s behaviour can affect our own. We knew if we showed people who represent our target audience, the campaign will be more effective
  • Framing – how a message is framed – either positively or negatively, can have a huge effect on how it is perceived. Framing cycling as ‘something for me’ was crucial
  • Implementation intention – prompting people to make a commitment (what/when/where/with who) reduced the possibility of failure. Intervention communications were designed with this in mind
  • Motivating people to ride a bike was not enough on its own. People needed to have the capability and opportunity (COM-B framework) to ride 

Our creative solution was driven by a need to give people the confidence to jump on a bike, even if it’s in a small way. The creative heroes people who had already accepted our invitation and gave their peers social proof that it was okay for them to try it too. We see them as happy, proud, welcoming and most of all, identifiable to our audience. The campaign line ‘YES I WHEEL’ represented two things:

1. A consistent and positive response to any question we ask the person in the picture – if they’re joining us at a local event or how they’re overcoming the barriers preventing them from getting back on a bike
2. On its own, it takes on a stronger, more resolute tone – ‘you might have judged me from my appearance or ability that I can’t ride a bike. Well, I’m here to tell you that I can and find it liberating and empowering.’

The result is always delivered with a smile, using the circular wheel device.

Aaron and the team used behavioural science principles to help deliver a campaign that resonated with the target audience. I was very happy with everything from the initial creative concepts right through to the delivery of completed assets Lauren Hoyle


Before we produced anything we put two concepts through creative pre-testing using our partnership with our Researcher at the University of Birmingham. We measured how appealing each concept was and how motivating they were to start cycling. We used this insight to decide which concept to produce.

We ran a blend of Out of Home formats to give us high coverage across the target
areas. This included bus rears which gave us a wide spread of distribution, along with 6 and 48 Sheet billboards which allowed us to have a presence within the target communities.

671k 6 Sheet Impacts
876k 48 Sheet Impacts
1.1m Bus Rears Impact
2.6m Total Impacts

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