It’s not often that we are asked to create a campaign to help manage organisational change and generate public excitement about a new service. SkyBus was about to introduce Victoria’s first city-to-airport double-decker buses to its fleet but first needed to prepare its drivers for the change.
Fenton was asked to develop a concept to introduce the new double deckers that would tie together efforts to prepare SkyBus drivers with a public campaign to tell customers about the new taller, more comfortable additions to their airport express service.
We began by imagining the double decker buses as new additions to a family: they would have certain characteristics that would make them different but would still fit right in. To generate curiosity we would personify the buses by focusing on their endearing traits rather than immediately revealing them.
In the teaser phase of the campaign, SkyBus staff received postcards with clues about the buses alluding to the benefits for customers. They were also invited to enter a competition to share their thoughts about what the double deckers would mean for them and the company. Involving staff in the build-up helped get the driver training program off the ground in time for the public launch.
Two weeks before the new buses hit the road, online ads and motorway billboards revealed the new service, with messages that played on double deckers as cultural icons familiar from places like London and Hong Kong. This understated approach served to build SkyBus brand awareness and avoid confusion about accessing the double deckers, which run in rotation with regular buses and can’t be booked in advance.
We achieved media coverage across print and online, and TV coverage with an onboard report of the inaugural trip of the first double decker on the Nine Network.