Give Me Shelter
People respond positively to objects placed in bus stops. Naturally inquisitive about why they are there. Gave me the idea for context specific products to advertise companies.
Pick an actual bus shelter Bath Street Charring Cross Identify a clear user group Business people who commute to work
e.g. ‘Flight Centre’ Travel agency in Glasgow using a simple branded deckchair to advertise their company in a tactile way, as well as offering comfort to potential customers.
Define your intentions for them To make waiting for the bus less monotonous
“Commuting is boring, and monotonous”
Waiting for the bus gives the user a break from their busy day
Bus stops great for local business’ to advertise, but too expensive
Service to break the monotony of commuting by providing interesting things to see and do while waiting
Hire out physical space in bus shelters for tactile ad campaigns that improve user experience while waiting
Bus stops not owned by council, owned by advertising company JCDecaux, needs to make profit to get them interested
Inspired by Bruno Taylor’s ‘playful spaces’, a service to allow companies to use interactive advertising to create bespoke user experiences and sell products Connecting local businesses to nearby bus stops, streamline the complicated process of advertising outdoors
Sell spaces in bus shelter not attractive to national companies (such as the shelter roof), but perfect for local advertising, sell for reduced rate through JCDecaux local
‘Flight Cente’ wish to invest as stakeholders and take the concept nationally
Positive reaction from users, brightened up their day and looked forward to what they would find on their way home from work every day
Give Me Shelter
Introduction “Bus shelters are where you wait for the bus right? Yes but is that all that’s happening there? It would seem that there may be other social interactions and little experiences happening around that pace and time that you are waiting for a bus. What might they be? How might they be developed as designable experiences?”
“Investigate from a social perspective waiting for a bus. Pick an actual bus shelter, identify a clear user group and define your intentions for them. From the resulting understanding of your investigation construct a design outcome for enhancing the experience of waiting for the bus.”
Seated shelter- mediocre protection from the elements as it has a large open front. Features integrated seating, a time table, occasionally an electronic board, and a double sided advertising space. Metal and glass construction easy to keep clean, some welded parts but mostly bolt together, cheap to erect, modular construction so parts are standardised.
Presented over the next few pages is a visual journal showing my time spend documenting bus stops and how people use, abuse and interact with them. In Glasgow there are 3 discernible bus shelter types:
Standing shelter- similar structure to seated shelter, best protection from the elements as itâ€™s shielded on 2 sides. Less common than seated shelter.
Simple vertical pole- sometimes with time table. Cheap to erect and maintain, has a minimal footprint yet still gives a clear stopping point to the driver for efficient pick-up/drop-off of passengers. No seats so customers have to stand, and no shelter from the elements
Printed time table,cluttered and difficult to read, especially for people with poor vision (elderly people make up a large percentage of the bus users). Featured with QR codes to take you to the â€˜Firstâ€™ website for real time travel updates
The majority of bus shelters in Glasgow are designed, manufactured and installed by JCDecaux, they cover the cost to erect the shelters, but pay rent to the council in exchange for the right to charge for advertising, this is a poor deal for the council and 80% of contracts are 15 years or longer.
Digital display- easier to read than the printed display, real time updates. In my experience I found them to be accurate, only once was a bus not on cue, but many people felt that their bus was regularly late and wished the display could show their bus location on a map. Not every bus stop has one, only 200 in operation in the city.
Integrated metal seating, very wide, and shaped to provide comfort, holes allow rainwater to pass through. Surprisingly comfortable, notably better than the thinner seats that other companies provide. No padding, but many people liked that as they see fabric in public spaces as unclean material, glass and metal were seen as clean materials.
Bus users with heavy shopping/bags are more likely to sit down.
Bus users with children are more likely to make their children use the seat but will stand themselves.
The 2 main suppliers of outdoor advertising space are JCDecaux and Clear Channel, who own 80% of the street furniture (including bus stops) advertising sites in the UK. The companies own the sites but pay rent to the council in exchange for advertising rights
You have to stand up and signal the bus to stop or it will continue on if there are no passengers to drop off. Seated users will stand as soon as they see their bus so they can be sure to flag it down in time to allow the driver to stop.
At less busy times there is often only a single customer at the bus stop, during the day the bus service is frequent (<10 minutes), and well populated, but after 7 oâ€™clock the services are every 40 minutes and the service is less populated.
3/4 of all office workers at the bath st bus stop listen to music while waiting, it is a common activity for commuters
Waiting at a bus stop provides a time for reflection and relaxation, a break from the stresses of everyday life.
At night the bus stops often get used by weary 18-26 year olds as impromptu benches to rest, chat, or eat food
Even the addition of black plastic squares taped to the wall attracted attention from people, showing that people respond well to anything out of the ordinary placed into the space
At night it is harder to read the timetable as it isnâ€™t illuminated. The advertising boards can be seen from a distance because they are backlit.
My Target Markets The bus stop I have chosen to design for is on Bath Street, it is a double sized stop with space between the 2 seats. Situated in the heart of Glasgow’s financial district, right next to the Santander office, Whyte and Mckay and numerous high profile business centres. The typical consumer using this stop is an office worker, aged 26-50, and a university graduate. They use the bus to travel to and from work everyday because it’s not convenient to own a car in Glasgow, they have a little disposable income and like a little bit of luxury to reward them for their hard work. My target consumer is the female office worker, who never gets a second to herself. She works all day and then goes home to be a good mum and a loving wife. Her husband helps her do the cooking/housework but she does the majority of the work. She dislikes waiting for the bus but acknowledges that its time for her to be alone, for self reflection and despite the uncomfortable seats, it’s a time for relaxation.
User Profile Stephanie 32 Works in an office on Bath Street Lives with boyfriend outside of Glasgow. Gets the bus twice a day to and from work. Listens to music on her iPod while she waits.
Finds the seats uncomfortable and cold, Chooses to stand because she has been sitting all day and she will be sitting down on the bus too. Would be willing to pay more for a better travel experience, frequently pays for a taxi rather than wait in the cold/rain.
Insights The seats get very cold, especially in the winter
When you’re on the bus you can signal for it to stop with a button by your seat, but bus stops don’t offer the same service
Paying exact fare means they get rid of some change, which many people like
The seats are fairly comfortable, but have no back-rest so you can’t really relax
People always leave one seat space when sitting next to a stranger
The majority of my target market group are smart phone users
80% of customers surveyed would pay up to 20p more for a heated bus shelter.
Many prefer to stand, citing “I’ve been sitting all day” as a reason to avoid sitting
Listening to music with headphones is de rigor for commuters, 3/4 of passengers under the age of 40 listen to music while waiting/on the bus
Opportunity to split bus shelters into first class/normal class.
-Air-travel, and railway have first class lounges, why not buses/bus shelters too.
-Vertical seating, a comfortable space to lean against
-Something for the user to engage with via their smartphone, or via headphones
- Incorporated backrests
-WiFi at bus stops
-QR codes, audio recognition software
- Covers for the seats
-Individual moulded seats
- Public transport radio network
-Speakers to allow people to play music
Experience Mapping Happy to have a break, to just listen to music and not be stressed.
Can see a bus coming but can’t see if it’s her bus until it gets quite close.
Doesn’t trust the time tables, they’re always late!
Cheaper than owning a car.
Regular bus user, has exact fare prepared especially.
The seats are uncomfortable and cold, they have no back rests.
Buses are very frequent, never longer than 10 minutes.
Awkward standing with just one or 2 other people.
Very cold in winter, and wet when it rains.
Monotony- same experience every day
:) Has time to do nothing, time for herself, to reply to unimportant text messages from friends, to relax before getting home and having to cook for her boyfriend
:( Uncomfortable seats Listening to music
I think this is the interesting point to mention, she’s happy to have free time, but the services providing that free time are making her unhappy.
I decided that there was strong potential to develop the service at this point to enhance that state of relaxation
:| Unhappy at having to move, but wants to get out of the cold
Possible strategic partners?
Centres for relaxation/stress relief: Aromatherapy? Health Spa? Gym?
Sitting next to a stranger
Bus ride uncomfortable and boring
She thanks the driver and gets off, still in her own world as she walks home.
She presses the stop button, and waits until the bus slows before standing to leave
Once again she zones out listening to music, only the sign of her street is enough to prompt a reaction from her
She looks for an empty seat, but is forced to sit next to an older man
She steps onto the bus, pays, but doesn’t remove her headphones
She gets out the £1.85 she had already prepared
She notices a bus coming, it’s her bus
She zones out, time ceases to matter, she now has a few minutes just to relax and self reflect, she understands that stressing won’t make the bus appear any quicker
She puts in some headphones are listens to her favourite music on her ipod.
She has been sitting all day so she chooses to stand instead
She knows the buses are every 10 minutes but doesn’t know if she has 1 minute or 10 minutes to wait.
Leaves the office and stands at the shelter right outside
Wants to get home after work, knows the buses are every 10 minutes.
Journey Mapping Stephanie 32 Works in an office on Bath Street Lives with boyfriend outside of Glasgow. Gets the bus twice a day to and from work.
Happy to get off the bus
Feels lonely walking home alone, slightly scared at night
Confusion about the system
Embarrassed about asking for help Happy she found the stop
:| :( Anxious and nervous
:) Talking to a stranger
The difference between Val’s journey and Stephanie’s journey is that Val spends more time worrying. Val also does more things while waiting at the bus stop, where as Stephanie was more succinct, she went into autopilot and showed knowledge of the service and knew what was happening, Val did not.
She gets off and immediately realises she doesn’t have a clue where she is or where she’s going
The man presses the stop button, and she stands at the front of the bus, she gets off and thanks the driver
She sits next to an elderly gentleman and asks where she needs to get off for the burrell collection, the man says he will point it out
She fumbles for exact change, slowing everyone down- the driver, having a schedule to keep, drives on, Val looses her balance. She makes up the change and decides where to sit
The next bus to come is the 4, she boards, and asks “how much is the fare”
She spots a bus , she can’t read the numbers, and when it arrives it’s not the 45, nervously she apologizes to the driver.
She stands back up, standing right by the road, signalling her intent
Nervously she sits, she thinks what if the bus comes and I can’t see it, what is I miss it, her view is largely occluded by the advertising board.
She waits attentively scanning the horizon.
She doesn’t know how long her bus will be, could be 20 minutes, could be 2, she can’t read the time table and there’s no electronic board
She gets to the bus stop and asks if she’s at the right stop
She isn’t smartphone literate so she can’t use the QR code or check online. She asks someone else and they tell her where to go
Decides on a day trip to Pollockshaws, unsure which bus stop she needs, she asks a stranger for help, he doesn’t know
Journey Mapping Val 72 Lives on Argyle St Visiting Pollockshaws to see the Burrell Collection Not regular bus user.
Happy to get off the bus
No one to ask for directions, feels lost
Existing services Looking at existing services around the world, it struck me how few permanently interesting bus shelters there are, most seem to stick to a generic design with advertising space. Some bus stops have been designed from the ground up with user experience in mind, where as others in this list have been augmented, most are paid for through adverts. What is it advertising:
What Is it advertising:
Bus shelter covered in bubble wrap, advertisement for Sony Playstation with the controllers buttons screened onto the bubbles.
Top- advert for a hip hop radio station, a poster printed with an â€˜afroâ€™ hairstyle for comedic effect.
Why I thought it was good/bad: Cheap, incredibly simple fun, and the shape and size of the bubbles is the perfect visual connection between the advert and the product it is portraying.
Why I thought it was good/bad: Fun, tongue in cheek. Simple and cheap to integrate, could go viral and form a community of people swapping images and engaging with the service, could be part of a scheme where people can send in their images to the channel as part of a competition.
Bruno Taylor’s ‘Playful Spaces’ project in Exmouth market, London.
Advert for fitness first, a scale is incorporated into the seat so that it displays the users weight on the electronic board
Advert for Quicksilver, a skateboard ramp has been constructed on the side of the shelter in Denmark.
Why: Active advertisement, shocks user into wanting to engage with services offered. Possibly offensive, and only works with one user at a time.
Why: Active advertisement, invites user into a lifestyle associated with the brand identity. Provides a new experience for people, but maybe not the people using the bus. Also potentially dangerous, a skate-ramp right next to a road? Again more of a publicity stunt than an extended ad campaign.
Why: “This project is a study into different ways of bringing play back into public space. It focuses on ways of incorporating incidental play in the public realm by not so much as having separate play equipment that dictates the users but by using existing furniture and architectural elements that indicate playful behaviour for all. It asks us to question the current framework for public space and whether it is sufficient while also giving permission for young people to play in public.”
Advert for Caribou-Coffee, designed to look like an oven and incorporating heating elements above the user.
Advert for Ikea in Paris. Bus stop configured to appear like a living room.
Advert promoting the Simpsons movie. Using graphics to alter the appearance but leaving the bus stop fundamentally unchanged.
Why: Not active advertisements but engages with the user on a physical and visual level, provides warmth to users, the user associates the brand with providing comfort and warmth to them, the user is then likely to visit the branch.
Why: Active advertisement, invites user to become involved with the product, improves comfort at a bus stop and allows consumers to see and feel the product without going to the shop. Ikea becomes associated with comfort, and adds fun to an otherwise boring experience.
Why: Passive advertisement, user doesnâ€™t interact with a product in the same way as the ikea bus stop, but much cheaper to implement, nothing to steal, canâ€™t be damaged by rain/excessive use. Doesnâ€™t provide a new experience for the user, and only serves as extended advertisement, unlike the Ikea advert which provides a new experience to the user.
A local bus stop in the Shetland Islands decorated with a TV, a heater, a sofa and plants.
A local bus stop retrofitted with a hammock.
Moroccan themed bus stop, in Cornwall
Why: Provides a totally new user experience, total relaxation, the kind of bus stop where it wouldn’t matter if your bus was 10 minutes late. But only one person at a time can use it. Note how the user added hammock doesn’t replace the original seats so the added hammock doesn’t fundamentally change the bus stop at all.
Why: Locally constructed and maintained, promotes a sense of individuality and respect for ones community. Brings the community closer together to work for a common goal. Shows a sense of pride for ones locale. Surprisingly the bus stop received more vandalism prior to its makeover.
Why: Locally constructed and maintained, shows a sense of pride and individuality. Brings community closer together as they redesign the bus stop regularly to fit a theme, such as ‘millennium’, or ‘world cup’
Advert for 3M security glass. A large stack of money was placed behind the glass inviting you to try to smash it to get at the prize. The money was fake and a security guard was on site 24/7 to make sure no one did actually break the glass.
Bus stop in Paris that creates visuals responding to their surroundings.
Bus stop in Calgary promoting the Star Trek expo, a user can stand on the blue spot and a friend can ‘beam them up’ using an augmented reality iPhone app.
Why: Active advertisement, invited user to become involved with the product, visually arresting and memorable. Beneficial to 3M because it shows how much confidence they have in their product, but how many people who use the bus are in the market for bullet proof glass? More of a publicity stunt than real advertising.
Why: “The garden has a self-organizing structure. By using different sensors the plants respond to pedestrians and the environment. We use cameras and microphones to detect motion and the ambient sound to generate and position of the plants and make them reflect the changes happening around them. Pedestrians leave audio, video or sms/mms messages for each other. Each message left on the garden is represented as a leaf, which can either be viewed or downloaded via mobile phones by others.”
Why: Fun, active advertising, has potentially to become a viral success and a community can be built around the service- swapping photos etc.
Top: Left: Bus stop for Vitra Design museum Middle: Sculptural bus stops by Dennis Oppenheim in California, and Juso Garcia Rubio in Spain. Right: Goal post bus stop in Brazil advertising a beverage promoting the World Cup Bottom: Left- Context sensitive bus stop in Yosemite Middle- Advert for pixar’s ‘up’ visual reference to the movie, visually arresting, you can imagine users taking pictures of their friend next to the poster
Poster design for Ekko, where you interact with digital displays via bluetooth to â€˜tagâ€™ the board with your digital graffiti.
Top- advert for Osram energy saving lights, has a sensor which turns the lights off when the user walks away. Bottom- advert with a giant light switch to turn the backlight on/off, advertising eco awareness.
Poster advertisement for Alfa Romeo, giving the user space to advertise their own car. Within days the board was full of real adverts for people wanting to sell their cars.
Why: Fun, active advertising, has potentially to become a viral success and a community can be built around the service.
Why: Saves electricity/money, and also conveys a message of eco awareness. It turns passive advertising into active because the user becomes necessary to engage the advertisement. The giant light switch taps into the human desire to be inquisitive. Fun, yet conveys a strong message.
Why: Active advertisements and showcases Alfa Romeo as a luxury product that people would aspire to own.
Within Glasgow Almost all of the bus stops in Glasgow have advertisement space but this stop on Douglas Street had been fully utilised, using the backboard as well. It was only up for 2 weeks, and after observing it for some time I never saw anyone directly engage with it, and not a single person I spoke to who used the stop said they would be downloading the ‘app’.
A campaign from earlier in the year, a bus stop on Renfrew Street (next to RSAMD) and West George Street advertising McCain’s microwave baked potatoes- a fibreglass potato containing a heating element that gives off the heat of a baked potato, and releases the specially concocted scent of an ‘oven cooked spud’
Last month, Mr Kipling ran a series of ‘exceedingly good posters’ for a period of one month in a bus stop on Renfrew street, and Hope Street which dispensed free slices of cake at the touch of a button.
“A slice of cake when you least expect it can bring a moment of joy to your day. Mr Kipling Snap Pack cakes are perfect for bringing that little piece of happiness for you to eat on the go.” Engages user directly with product, positive association, people I spoke to had actually used the service and purchased the product.
Active advertising, novel, memorable, warms up travellers and connects them directly to the product as the service dispenses money off vouchers.
Analysis Passive advertisements no longer hold our attention due to the daily bombardment of images, the most effective campaigns used active advertisements to involve consumers directly with their product, unlike web based ads there is no direct link to a purchase, so the user has to continue to remember the product after they’re left the scene of the ad. The Mr Kipling and McCain’s ads were so effective because they continue to give out a message when the user goes to eat their cake, or goes to use their voucher. Both campaigns also improve the experience for the user, either through a delicious cake, or through providing warmth, the latter is so effective as unlike a simple heater, the heat is localised to the advert, making the user associate the brand with warmth/pleasure.
In research by ‘Right Angle Media’, bus stop advertisements were found to be more effective than billboards, and in addition to that bus shelter ads have great visibility, being noticed by drivers, pedestrians and bus users. For people who use the bus with regularity seeing the same adverts every day will strengthen the campaign. Bus stop ad’s are geographically precise, which is beneficial to local businesses targeting local consumers, because of the precision of the campaign it is easy to calculate ROI, when surveying pedestrians in Glasgow, 3/4 had noticed or heard of the Mr Kipling/Mcaines ad’s if they frequently were in that area.
“I went specifically to get a slice of cake but it was empty when I got there” “There was no cake left, and I saw a homeless man eating crumbs off the floor”
Of all the people I spoke to at the RSAMD, which is in view from the bus stop, only 1 actually got a slice of cake, and only 4 had heard about it, they were not bus users though, and the majority of people whom I spoke to at the stop remembered the campaign and thought it was a good idea.
Documenting how people respond to the addition of random interjected objects.
I placed a comfortable chair into the space between the seats in the bus stop to observe how people would react to it. I found that people looked at it, and touched it, but no one actually sat down on it. When I asked people about that they said they just thought it was a chair that belonged to someone.
“I didn’t know I could sit on it”
Chairs get thrown out in Glasgow all the time, needed to see official logo, or branding to distinguish it from rubbish People showed inquisitively towards any object placed in a bus shelter, even a black square of plastic sellotaped to the wall promoted users to take a closer look, and a massive crown gathered to look at flowers left outside a shop Showing that any sort of new visual stimulus was worthy of attention, the existing advertising doesn’t get people interested in comparison.
When placed with a sign inviting users to sit on the chair they were much more active in doing so, and said they enjoyed the experience and wished the regular seats were that comfy. Some people refused to sit on it, citing that they though the cloth would be ‘dirty’ from being outside.
Documenting how people respond to the addition of random interjected objects.
At night in Glasgow the city becomes a playground for the 18-26 category, I saw 2 people banging a set of railings as if it were a xylophone, and the chair was a great source of amusement for people- promoting regular conversation and creating interest, frequently crowds gathered where people would take photos of each other sitting/posing with the chair “I think it would be great if there was more wacky stuff about like this”
“I think it’s funny but I wouldn’t sit on it, someone’s probably puked up on it!”
Interesting point- from this I realised that the object didn’t need to be literally functional to have an effect, just the sight of the chair put a smile on her face, despite not sitting on it
In the space of 1 hour I saw 4 groups of people stop to take a photo of a friend sat on the chair, maybe this could link to a twitter campaign #isatonthechair. I saw girls sit on it while they swapped heels for flat shoes, I saw people sit on it to eat food, I saw a group of friends take turns to sit in it for over 15 minutes
Seeing furniture in the streets is common in Glasgow, but not in the city centre, so the novelty of the common object in an unorthodox location attracted serious attention. I didn’t experience anyone try to steal it, nor did I see anyone express anything other than a mixture of interest and confusion, it provided people with an opportunity for play.
Concept 1 Research: People who work all day, and then go home to be a parents or a partner, to cook, to clean. The bus stop allows them time to themselves to do mundane things like read a book instead of a report, to send a text message instead of an email. Insight: Bus stops are boring, but for my target market group boring is good, they have the rest of the day to be active, the bus stop is a time to relax, a break from the 100mp/h lifestyle. The simple act of waiting offers them a window of time just for them, to relax, to think, to enjoyConcept: My target market group enjoy this experience in spite of the uncomfortable seats, and exposure to wind and rain,I propose a service to enhance the enjoyment of this period of relaxation and by partnering with an appropriate external company who will fund the project, to develop this experience in a way which benefits the bus user and the company sponsoring the service through context appropriate location based advertising
Concept 2 Research: Passive advertisements no longer grab our attention, bespoke projects (Mr Kipking/mcains) have been run in the city but they are infrequent and sporadic, they have little effect on increasing the pleasure of bus users. Insight: Advertising space in the large permanent boards is fiercely competitive, but it is an untapped market to offer smaller, less valuable spaces at a reduced rate, or to offer physical space within a structure for PR stunts/interactive advertising Concept: I propose a service to promote advertising of physical space for use for creative purposes, advertisements that come out of the poster and back into the real world, delivering a level of tactility that enhances the effect of the advertisement but also enhances the experience for the user
Concept 3 Research: People find the bus seats cold because theyâ€™re bare metal, but also have opinions that fabric would get dirty quickly considering Glasgowâ€™s wet climate. Insight: Metal, glass and pleather are seen as clean materials, but fabric is seen to be clean if it is not exposed to the weather- for example the bus seats are made of fabric and people have no apparent problem with those. Concept: I propose a service to allow users to utilise a pull out fabric/peather seat cover to enhance comfort while waiting at the bus stop, that will automatically retract when not in use to protect from excess wear.
Concept Feedback + -
Could provide a really nice experience, and really feels like youâ€™ve tapped into something important
Create a viral buzz in the city around the service, draw positive attention to the bus service
Has potential, but is really just a derivative from concept 2
Clever adverts like Mr Kipling could really benefit consumer and advertiser, mutually beneficial
Who would advertise in the space, and how would it enhance the experience
Could attract thieves and vandals
Could it be broken easily?
Could attract thieves and vandals
Could interfere with the daily running of the bus service
Could fingers or clothes get trapped in an exposed mechanism, could it be dangerous for children
Could be branded with a company logo, so the user sees it when they use the service
Concept Feedback Concept 3 was weekly received, although did satisfy a direct need so could be developed into a workable solution, but the information I came across next dashed any hope of that concept being a reality. I realised that the bus stops and the buses are not run by the same company, so there was discrepancy between their service aims. ‘First’ the bus company have the public’s comfort in their best interest, because they are their customers. JCDecaux (a company that manufactures advertising products) have advertising clients in their best interest, and there is a fundamental incompatibility between each companies ambitions, how can I bridge that gap? Concept 1 and 2 were better received as they were advertising services, so they would pay for themselves and recover any initial investment. But this is not an advertising project, that factor of the project is only important to justify the expense of implementing and maintaining the service, (although 80% of customers said they would be willing to pay extra for better service), the real project is how does it benefit the customer, but in order to benefit the bus user, it has to benefit JCDecaux too. A complaint common to concept 1 and 2 was that of attracting thieves and vandals. Vandalism isn’t a big problem in the city centre as there is excellent CCTV coverage, and placed objects could be securely fastened down, or perhaps theft could be encouraged! In pubs stealing branded glasses is something the owners allow to happen because it is then free advertising for the breweries. Also the campaign would have to be non invasive to avoid disruption of bus services.
Analysis At this point I hit a snag, the feedback I got from First was that they just run the buses, and had nothing to do with the bus stops and couldn’t provide any feedback on my project. I asked them who I would need to get in touch with and they told me it was a company called JCDecaux who manage the bus stops- I’d never heard of them before, but I soon realised that nearly every advertising feature I’d seen in the city had been designed by them, the large digital screens in central station, and all the poster boxes in Buchannon Galleries. JCDecaux has the exclusive rights to advertise in Glasgow, so no other company can advertise on public space. JCDecaux manufacture the bus stops and install them, they pay rent to the council for use of the site and make money back by selling advertising space.
JCDecaux is a company who manufacture products which have ‘space’ that they can lease out to interested parties. They pioneered the use of advertising on public transport, and are the world leader in the manufacture of ‘street furniture’ (including bus shelters). Their product range includes things that augment existing products, such as vinyl wrapping for phone boxes, products which combine function and advertising like a bus shelter with an advert space (called a 6sheet), and products who’s function is only to display adverts, such as the digital display in Central station. Before contacting JCDecaux I would have to do some research into who the stakeholders are and how the system works.
Insights It is a common misconception among bus users that the council, or First control the bus stops. The council has a civic duty for maintenance, and they are allowed by JCDecaux to use their logo on the bus stop, but any commercial advertising of services other than those promoting affiliates of the bus company is strictly prohibited under contract law- and 80% of these contracts are for 15 years or longer.
I uncovered a complex system that seeks to maximise stakeholder profits, and due to corporateâ€™ backhandersâ€™ and exclusivity contracts, there is no way to shortcut the system as owners of advertising spaces give financial incentives in the form of rebates to chosen advertising agencies who use their services in order to keep their spaces in constant use.
Service Owners I contacted JCDecaux, to get data on the stakeholders involved in the process of bus shelter management. It is surprising how many people are involved in the process, and yet the world of outdoor advertising is dominated by just a handful of stakeholders. Even more surprising is that the design of bus shelters is not developed with the user in mind, they are designed to display advertisements which people who use the bus will have no choice other than to look at. There is a lengthy system in place which profits from this, the bus user is the smallest stakeholder in the entire system.
Advertisers. â€˜(Customersâ€™- company who want to run a campaign)
Site Owners. 80% Media owners 5% Private 15% Local Authorities (Council)
Creative Agencies. Contracted to design campaign
A company like H&M want to launch a new campaign, so they pay a creative agency to handle the design
A map of the stakeholders involved in the process of bus shelter (street furniture) advertising. Say for example company X wishes to launch a new campaign in a bus shelter, the process they must go through is outlined below.
The creative agency finish the campaign an contract a media agency to look for potential spaces to advertise in
Site owners pay rent to local council, but is a fraction of what they receive in advertising revenue
Media owners pay the site owners for advertising rights, but most site owners also media owners Media agency have contracts with outdoor buyers to get rebates to pass on to creative agencies- this forms a large part of the revenue stream for a creative agency.
Media Agency. Liase between creative agency and outdoor buyers
Outdoor buyers maintain exclusive contracts with media owners to get discount for media agencies.
Outdoor Buyers. Liscense the use of advertising space from media owners
Advertising space is purchased in 14 day blocks, and is booked well in advance. Q3 and Q4 are the busiest periods. Media owners offer discount to clients purchasing extended durations because it means less chance of having a period without a buyer
Media Owners. Own the space in which advertising is possible.
StakeHolders Creative Agencies. Contracted to design campaign
The page before shows a map for advertising in street furniture (bus shelter), but to advertise on the bus itself the process is much simpler as there are less stakeholders involved.
The creative agency can liaise with the media owner or allow the advertiser to do it, lowering costs for the advertiser.
A company can chose to have an external company handle the design, or if they have an in house team they are free to contact the media owners directly- unlike the field of outdoor advertising where direct contact is impermissible.
Advertisers. ‘(Customers’- company who want to run a campaign)
Site Owners. People who own the bus, in this case, that is ‘First’
The bus companies are maintained by the local council who subsidise the running costs of the service.
Media owners pay the site owners for advertising rights, in this case media owners are in the majority not site owners.
Media Owners. Own the advertising space on the interior/exterior of buses. CBS is the dominant player in bus/underground advertising, holding major contracts for London Underground.
Service Owners The process to get an advert onto the side of a bus is so much easier than it is to get one into a bus shelter, because there are fewer stakeholders in the bus chain compared to the street furniture (bus shelters) chain. In the bus chain ‘First’ own the bus, and sell the ad space to ‘CBS outdoor’ who will then sell that space in 14 day blocks to anyone who wants it. People who want to use the space usually go through an ad agency to design their campaign, but in theory ‘Dave the plumber’ could contact CBS directly and submit a power-point designed ad campaign to go on the side of a bus. In the street furniture chain there are many stakeholders. For a bus shelter there is someone who owns the shelter, someone who owns the land the shelter sits on, then there is someone who owns the advertising spaces in that shelter, someone who owns the advertising rights, and because the owners of advertising spaces are very selective about who they sell to, there are agencies with a strong monogamous relationship to the sellers so they can liaise with ‘outdoor buyers’, who have the capital to cover the cost of purchasing ad space up front in order to sell it back to the ‘media agency’ for a monthly fee (on credit) to host the ads.
Recently there has been a shift to conglomerate those stakeholders so that mega-corporations such as JCDecaux own the site and the advertising space/rights,
Because these mega-corporations have been purchasing the site portfolios of smaller site owners there are now only 3 key players in the market who own 80% of all advertising space, and there are systems in place to maintain exclusivity and restrict the potential for new site owners to prosper. ‘Dave the plumber’ cannot contact the site owner directly as he must go through a chain of people, typically a creative ad agency to design the campaign, who then pass the finished design on to a media agency who scout out potential sites, who then liaise with an outdoor buyer who has exclusive contracts with a stakeholder who owns the right to advertise on the space found by the media agency, the outdoor buyer purchases the 14day advertising slot for the media agency who then host the campaign, frequently the media owner is the same stakeholder as the site owner (the stakeholder who owns the bus stop), but if it is not then the media owner must pay money to the site owner, and then finally the site owner pays rent to the council, although this is a pittance and is merely the crumbs that are left after the banquet of advertising is complete, although in exchange the council get a nice free bus stop from the site owner (JCDecaux)
Service Owners Naturally every company adds in some profit so the total cost to advertise ends up being extortionate. Because of these exclusivity contracts (which on average are 15 years in length) competition is weak in this market, and when JCDecaux own the site and the advertising rights to a bus shelter, they alone can advertise in it, the council can not provide space for ‘Jim the electrician’ to even display a handwritten poster in that space. This is a blessing and a curse, because although ‘Dave the plumber’ cannot currently contact JCDecaux with his design, because JCDecaux are both owners of the site, and advertising rights, (as well as being a creative ad agency) they are in the perfect position to allow liaisons directly between advertising clients and themselves. That insight took my project to a new level and satisfied feedback I’d got from JCDecaux that they were only interested in services that made them profit In order to get JCDecaux interested I needed to figure out how to turn the idea of connecting local business’ to bus stops in a way which made profit for JCDecaux, after all they own the keys to the implementation of any concept in that space.
Smaller media/site owners find it difficult to gain a foothold, and due to the monogamous relationships between buyers and owners, many smaller companies have left the market and sold their site portfolios on to the larger companies, (JCDecaux, CBS, Clear Channel).
Insights Media owners and site owners are most often the same company.
Advertising space is sold is 14 day slots
In Glasgow bus shelters are erected and maintained by JCDecaux in exchange for advertising rights in the space.
It is difficult for new media owners to grow as 80% of sites are owned by companies who also own the advertising rights
It is cheaper, and easier for advertisers to get an advert onto a bus compared, to getting one into a shelter.
Media/Site owners pass rebates on to regular clients as incentives to use their services, to keep their services in use
The field of outdoor advertising is dominated by 3 key players holding an 80% share, and their sites are protected by exclusivity contracts, forcing monogamous relationships between buyers and sellers, causing uniformity in the market.
An advertising agency/advertiser cannot contact an owner of advertising space directly, there is a system in place explicitly to keep competition high, and maintain maximum profit, this means only the biggest advertisers are able to enter the market for street furniture advertising, local markets are excluded from a system that would benefit them most.
There have been several schemes to improve the bus service in Glasgow, ‘Streamline’ (electronic displays in shelters, bus lanes, and more frequent buses), and ‘Route 66’ (free wi-fi, and better quality interiors) but the actual shelter is out of First’s jurisdiction, in Glasgow the shelters are not council owned so only JCDecaux has the power to change.
What does all that mean It is not in JCDecaux’s interest to be philanthropic, unlike a public sector service offering where the emphasis is on providing the best service. I will have to prove to JCDecaux that enhancing service will be financially beneficial to them.
“We have an in house design team called JCDecaux innovate, they handle the bespoke campaigns for campaigns such as ‘Lynx pocket pulling, JCDecaux innovate are cost effective for advertisers because we provide the site, and hold the rights, so we don’t have to deal with anyone other than the media agency” “JCDecaux are a profit driven company, we are not in the bus market to provide enhancement of services. We provide a cost effective solution that satisfies the market demand.”
My challenge was to allow local business to enter the market for street furniture advertising, (premium space available only to the biggest clients), but to present it at a cost that was not prohibitive to them, and that was profitable for JCDecaux, satisfying those 2 parties would lead to the satisfaction of the 3rd party- the bus user.
JCDecaux innovate streamlines the process of advertising by conglomerating the stakeholders.
Looking at the new and established advertising spaces in existing street furniture Back of 3 sheets
Top glass panels
3 Sheets- used for timetable information and public info. Not illuminated
Space on metal backboard
Backboard of glass- utilised in the Greggs â€˜taste recoveryâ€™ campaign seen earlier Double sided backlit 6 sheets
Space between seats I think this is the most interesting space to utilise
On the seats
Development Only a fraction of the space available is offered for advertising. The double sided 6sheets are premium spaces offering high value displays to clients, backlit, visible from distance, visible to bus users, pedestrians, and motorists. In contrast the 3sheet spaces used for timetable information are not backlit, so not visible at night, not visible at a medium distance, and not visible to people other than bus users and does not present itself as attractive space to corporate clients, can be seen as medium value space. Spaces such as the seats, the top glass panels and the back of the 3 sheets are low value spaces, offering the worst visibility, but highly localised to bus users only
In a bus a large percentage of the interior is used for advertising, but in a bus stop only 10% is purchasable space By utilising medium and low value space, JCDecaux open up a new revenue stream for themselves, and because the cost to impliment is minimal as it utilised existing street furniture, the savings can be passed on to the client and the space can be sold at a much reduced rate.
Based on feedback that big clients purchasing premium space would feel the new advertisements infringed on their exclusivity contracts, the service should be limited to local clients only, to keep the lower tier and higher tier clients separate, to avoid direct competition.
Annie Crabtree- A visual artist working with projection based art work in abandoned shop fronts in Glasgow
Strategic partners involved in the design of the service, showing positive response to the concept
Partners who I think could benefit from the service but who are yet to contact me back
Interested Parties Hello, I do not wish to book a holiday, but I have a proposal that will hopefully inspire 1000’s of people to book with you, so here goes... I am a design student studying at the Glasgow School of Art, I am currently doing a project around linking bus stops to local businesses, and I wish to contact you to inquire about whether you’d want to be involved with the project. You have 4 branches in Glasgow, it is a fairly miserable city, and waiting for the bus is a boring and cold experience. When someone is waiting for the bus, what they want is something to cheer them up, to brighten their day, and that’s where your company comes along. My proposal is a campaign that is very cheap to run, but will improve the experience of waiting for the bus, and will locally advertise your ‘Flash sale’ offer (and the company as a whole) to a specific group of people who have the kind of disposable income to want to make spontaneous holiday bookings- a win win situation for everyone. The bus stop where this campaign would run is within 5 minutes walk of 2 of your branches, and 10 minutes walk to the other. My concept is to streamline a service which makes it easy for local businesses to utilise bus stops for interactive advertisements, and PR stunts. My insight is that traditional advertising no longer holds our attention, so the best way for a brand to stand out is to create something in which the customer interacts physically with the advertisement, an example of this would be the Mr Kipling bus shelter in Glasgow which dispenses free slices of cake to bus users. My proposal to you is to dress up a bus stop with a ‘summer holiday’ theme, to inspire people to book a holiday by including a sun lounger, perhaps some tropical decorations like a coconut, maybe a non alcoholic cocktail dispenser and most importantly a poster with a QR code allowing smart phone users to directly access your services and book a holiday immediately while waiting for a bus. It has been proven that bus stop adverts are more effective than billboards as regular users will see the advert multiple times per day where as a billboard is ironically easy to miss. Active advertisements have a better ROI and get people talking about your brand, people will take and share pictures of themselves sitting on a sun lounger wearing sunglasses, it will be really brighten up the experience of waiting for the bus and people posting the photos to your facebook, twitter, and friends will increase the exposure of your brand, it will create a buzz around your which will translate into increased positive perception and you’re guaranteed to get more sales with minimum expenditure. I am currently running a similar campaign with a local health spa, who are designing a ‘relaxation themed’ bus shelter to enhance the comfort and tranquillity of waiting for the bus, which after all is the only time in the day that someone actually gets to sit and just relax, rather than being busy busy busy at work, and then being a parent or a partner when they get home. I feel that Flight Centre are a perfect brand to approach for such a campaign, and I really hope you are willing to get on board (if you’ll pardon the pun) There is potential to expand the campaign across the entire of the UK if the Glasgow campaign...takes off (no apologies for that one!) If you wish to be part of this project everything is pretty much ready to roll immediately, and your ideal customers are sitting cold and bored stiff in a bus shelter right now just waiting for something to spark their interest, so if it would interest you then please get in touch
The concept sounds great for us as a local brand, but Flight centre is a global brand, and therefore all advertisements are currently globally relevant, I think it’s a great idea to think locally as well but all sales and marketing goes through our UK head office in London, we think the concept could really work and they’d probably like to roll it out across the country, so we will pass on your details and you can go down and pitch to them.
Interested Parties Hi, I’m Clark James a design student at Glasgow School of Art I am currently doing a project working to link bus stops with local businesses, and I am currently running a proposal to streamline the process of utilising bus stops for interactive advertising space. Bus stops are great places to advertise as studies have shown them to be more effective than billboards, being seen by bus users, drivers and pedestrians, regular users will see your message over and over and over again. But traditional advertising no longer holds our attention, to stand out a campaign needs to be active, to involve the customer, to speak to them directly. You may have heard about the Mr Kipling bus stop on Renfrew street a month ago, which dispensed free slices of cake- this created a buzz in the city, people were talking about the brand, and it helped to relaunch Mr Kipling as a premiere product. Waiting for the bus is fairly boring, and miserable (especially in Glasgow), but my insight is that it is a period of guilt free time where the customer has nothing to worry about, being stressed won’t make the bus come any quicker, so for the type of person who is busy busy busy all day, and then goes home to cook, clean, be a parent or a partner, that 10 minutes where they wait for the bus is a time for relaxation and self reflection- and what a perfect time and place to advertise the services of a place designed explicitly for relaxation and self reflection. My proposal is for local business’s to be able to redesign bus shelters as temporary interactive advertising spaces, I am currently working with ‘The Flight Centre’ on Sauchihall street to design a ‘summer holiday’ themed bus stop with sun loungers, non alcoholic cocktail dispensers, and all linking to a poster which has a QR code that smartphone users can scan and use to spontaneously book flights, and seeing as that bus stop resides in the heart of Glasgow’s financial district, it’s users have the disposable income to be involved. I think your brand would be perfect to become involved in the project, your ideal customers are sitting cold and bored stiff in a bus shelter right now, just waiting for something to spark their interest, and after they’ve spent 10 minutes relaxing in your bus stop they get up to go on the bus and think to themselves “that was a lovely experience, maybe I should treat myself to a membership at that place” The best part is that your customers would be willing to pay for this service, 80% of those questioned said they would be willing to pay 20p extra for a heated bus stop, so the campaign will pay for itself! If you are interested in being involved with the project please get back to me asap on firstname.lastname@example.org, I really hope you want to be involved, I’m very excited by this project and think it would be a win-win situation for every party involved.
Fantastic idea, I really like the thought of our services making people feel good all over town, that’s exactly what we at Arlington baths are all about, we’d be very interested if you get the concept up and running.
Simple but effective 1. A set of drums on a billboard for ‘Gü’ linked with an ‘audition’ competition. 2. Ad for whiskers, featuring a ‘grooming’ mirror on one side of the poster and a secret spy hole on the reverse
Many of the campaigns featured in the earlier research were lack lustre in terms of playful ingenuity. These campaigns have it in spades.
1. Norwegian airline advertising new destinations, a range of wacky tactile posters 2. Poster for ‘biggest loser’ Right: 1. An expensive campaign for Lynx featuring a girl in a ‘pocket’ on a billboard shouting to potential customers in the street. 2. Salvation Army- notice how the addition of a scarf makes the campaign more poignant
Final Concept When I placed inexplicable random objects into public spaces the outcome was always one of intrigue, so what if that object was not just a ‘chair’, but a tactile introduction to a short term advertising campaign that creates a buzz, gets people to talk about the brand locally/through social media, and is 10x more likely to increase sales than a boring, forgetful poster campaign. An ad campaign that stops people in their tracks, turns heads, inspires interaction and encourages a viral spread. Utilising wasted space not suitable or appealing for national/international clients, but providing perfect exposure for local businesses at a much reduced rate. In using existing street furniture locations the cost is kept down and because of it’s perception as ‘inferior space’ due to lower visibility from outside the bus stop it doesn’t effect the value of premium advertising spaces such as backlit 6 sheets. The spaces for sale are actually more interesting because of the novelty factor, advertising in the 6 sheet is common and boring, advertising on the roof panels, and tactile advertising is likely to get much more notice.
Aims: 1- Allow local businesses to advertise in locations that would benefit them, such as near-by bus shelters 2- Maximise profit for JCDecaux while keeping costs low enough for small businesses to afford 3- Emphasise importance of advertisements that provide a new experience for the customer, as this will benefit the bus user, and make the campaign more effective
You might think you can’t buy that level of exposure, well with my service now you can, and it’s cheaper than you think.
Final Concept Local Logo uses a script typeface to give a vernacular feel to the company, less corporate. Uses a complimentary colour to add maximum colour contrast to the image and to draw attention to the new service offered by ‘JCDecaux local’. Cyan perceived as friendly colour suitable for the service
Despite bus stops being perfect ad space for local businesses, they have been priced out of the market entirely. By augmenting existing advertising services with a lower cost ad space (specifically for targeting local customers using the bus) it provides the perfect advertising space for local businesses, and provides an extra income stream for JCDecaux, who are now able to sell space that would be unattractive to national corporate clients, successfully linking local clients to a service which could really benefit them. The concept I am proposing is JCDecaux local- a streamlined service for local businesses to liaise directly with JCDecaux to utilise wasted space in street furniture for reduced rate advertising in less desirable spaces. By cutting out the middleman it allows costs to fall dramatically, and it’s function is not to compete with the existing multi-thousand pound advertising spaces (6 sheets), but to augment it, to provide a second tier advertising space strictly for local businesses to utilize and fill the void between a £10 advert in the chip shop window and a 6 sheet.
Final Concept Back to the brief- how does this benefit the bus user? My target users are regular commuters, who are so bored of the bus journey they put in their headphones and go into autopilot. My insights were that they werenâ€™t in need of a comfy seat or a simple heater, they were in need of a real experience, to brighten up their day. As the bus stops are provided by JCDecaux they are the most important stakeholders in the chain, so it has to be profitable for them, my research has shown that for my target market group traditional advertising fails to hold their interest, so it has no effect on them, but this service provides a constantly changing atmosphere of visually interesting, tactile ad campaigns that make the user feel like theyâ€™re having fun, rather than being the target for a marketeer. Because of their high disposable income my target group are likely to engage with the services advertised, increasing their involvement with local business and becoming part of a local-viral ad campaign to create sales out of having fun.
If a commuter uses the bus twice a day they will engage with the advert 14 times in just one week, it would take a city wide campaign of 100 posters to achieve that level of targeting with a traditional advertising scheme. Because of this high level of engagement ad space can be sold in 7 day blocks.
Local business’- The Flight Centre
‘JCDecaux local’ (JCDL) put these local advertising spaces up for tender per 7 day slot.
A company such as ‘Flight Centre’ enquires directly to JCDL and they can see online a list of free slots.
They select a slot and pay for it in instalments to spread the cost.
They can supply their own campaign, or can let the graduate scheme at JCD Innovate handle the design.
They have a number of options to chose from. They choose the ‘medium poster’ option and the 1.5mx1m physical space.
They can chose to do their own printing or use JCDL’s local contracted printers. Printing is cheap because the posters don’t need to be back-lit.
They decide a summer holiday theme will have the best impact for their brand
They work with a designer to make up a poster to advertise their Flash Sale service
They place the printed poster in the 3 sheet holder and they place their product props in the ‘physical space’,
Customers engage with the service and update via social media, giving Flight centre a real time overview on their campaigns success
They notice a surge in customers booking spontaneous weekend flights through their Flash Sale, which the QR code makes it easy to jump to.
They take down the campaign and ready to go is a fresh campaign for ‘Glasgow Wood Recycling’- a custom wooden bench for the physical space
Stephanie- bus user
Stephanie comes into work one morning and notices a change- “the same experience every day for 6 years- and now finally a change!”
She sits at work wondering what was going on outside, she looks forward to her bus journey tonight
Finally the day is over and she leaves work to see the new additions to the bus stop, there’s a crown outside, she can’t see whats going on
She pushes to the front and sees a deck chair just sitting in the bus stop
How strange, well “this is interesting” she things. But what does it mean, who put it there
She notices the Flight Centre logo, and the 3 sheet poster- “a holiday company, of course”, that makes total sense now!
The tactile nature of the deckchair makes her long for a holiday, to escape the Glasgow rain, the poster reminds her to book now as they sell out quick
“Flash sale? What that’s about” She scans the QR code, “wow, weekend in Paris for £23, I deserve it :), better book it now before someone else does”
She makes the booking directly from her phone, she chooses the recommended hotel and pays for it while sat in the deckchair
Her friend Jodie takes a picture of her in the chair, she uploads it to the Flight Centre twitter, the best picture wins a free holiday
She comes in to work next week wondering what she will see, a wooden hand made seat, “I’d quite like one of those for the garden” she says
She scans the QR code and is taken to the Glasgow Wood Recycling website, while sitting in the seat she places an order from her phone
Bigger clients using premium backlit 6 sheets are unaffected by the new process
Regular service chain (see p.33) -Media agency -Outdoor buyer JCDecaux Site owners, media owners, manufactures and suppliers of advertising space products
Local business wishes to utilise JCDecaux local services. They contact JCDecaux local directly and if they have their own campaign all they have to do is purchase a time slot
JCDecaux Local. Site owners, media owners, handle short term, local contracts
JCDecaux Innovate. In house design team Graduate Scheme Internship. Reduced rate designs
If they chose to use the services of JCDecaus graduate scheme then they can liaise directly with them during the design process
I tested the prototype design concept for Flight Centre (who have a branch on Sauchihall St) to showcase the context based campaign.
‘Flight Centre’- Holiday company who have bi-weekly ‘flash sales’ to sell last minute flights at cheap rates. A typical city wide poster campaign runs for 12 weeks, how could 1 site for 7 days make an impact, because people don’t talk about a boring poster they saw on a billboard, but they do talk about a great experience they had, so it naturally diffuses out into the rest of the city, when was the last time you saw a poster campaign make someone stop and get off their bicycle to see, take a picture and then call their friend to tell them what they had just seen in town? How can the user benefit from advertising, by allowing it to move beyond the poster, to provide a tactile experience to break the monotony and boredom.
the use of the deckchair as a visual metaphor ties in with the tagline of the poster ‘before they disappear’ invoking the feeling of frustration in the user of times when they were too late to get a deckchair.
Feedback Good to limit the chair to a single usermakes them feel special and strengthens the message
Extremely cheap to implement, and is a visual metaphor for ‘Flight Centre’s’ sale as it makes people recall having to fight for a deck chair Could use a QR code service to allow customers to interact with company directly, and create sales on site
Tactility of the campaign creates a memorable campaign, the user interacts directly with the service offered
The user is happy when in the seat and leaves the site with positive thoughts about ‘Flight Centre’
Deck chair could easily be stolen, so would have to be tied down
Deck chair could be branded with company logo and then given away to the best photo posted on facebook- creates viral response
Feedback from Local business owners
Allows them a space to advertise which gets real traffic and would be a genuine ROI
If products are vandalised then it could reflect badly on the business
Creates a buzz about their brand, positive reinforcement for brand image. Viral marketing
Adverts not being back lit means they are cheaper to print, but means they can’t be seen in the dark
Cost to implement could be high although the onus is on the company to develop their own campaign that is cheap, yet relevant
Context based advertising is more relevant and allows the user to experience the services offered in a tactile way
Could portray companies involved as being ‘cheap’
Companies might not have the creative potential to design an effective advert, potentially wasting their money
QR codes promote on site sales, bridging the gap between advert and retail, it’s like having a shop in a bus stop
Could portray companies involved as ‘cheap’
Feedback from bus users
Breaks the monotony of regular commuting
People aren’t aware that the bus stops aren’t run by JCDecaux, so maybe feel their tax £££ is paying for this
Feels like fun rather than advertising
People might get jealous that their bus stop isn’t using the service
It rains a lot in Glasgow so things would get wet, and some people see fabric/material as a dirty surface
Makes waiting for the bus more pleasant
“I wouldn’t take part, but there are people who would, so as long as it doesn’t cost me any more to use the bus I don’t mind it”
Could invite thieves and vandals
Feedback from JCDecaux
New revenue stream for JCDecaux
Might offend bigger clients who felt more advertising in the same space effected their credibility and negatively effected their ROI
Regular source of projects for the graduate scheme to be involved in
Could make clients who use traditional poster media feel they were getting a poor deal
Increases positive perception of JCDecaux, no longer seen as a mega-corporation, seen as a supporter of the local business
Potential damage to campaigns not protected from the weather, but due to short durations itâ€™s not so problematic
Uses existing sites for minimal investment requirement, and utilises assets already available to JCDecaux, system is ready to go
Such short durations would need a great advertising campaign to best utilise the advertisers investment
Evaluation The insights I picked up on in my target market group were ‘monotony’ and ‘waiting for the bus is relaxing.’ The final service delivery doesn’t directly address that problem but it became clear quite quickly that although the council would love to implement new bus stops in the city to go with their new buses, they can’t as JCDecaux own the sites and therefore any changes to the bus stop would have to be implemented by JCDecaux, and as a profit driven company they would have be making money in order to be interested
If a city-wide poster campaign is lemonade, this ‘fun based’ advertising methodology is lemon squash, highly concentrated and designed to diffuse out into the rest of the city.
What this project is then is a way of showing JCDecaux how people use their product and inviting them to operate a service that will address all of the concerns that I have noted in my research. JCDecaux are not out to create a comfortable bus stop, they are ad advertising company utilising bus stops to force people to engage with their product- which is advertising space. JCDecaux were not interested in a service which only benefitted the user. Based on feedback I got from the council, they would be happy with a service which only paid for itself, and they responded positively to the idea of ‘pods’ you paid 20p to sit in. But based on feedback I got from JCDecaux the project needed to develop a financial element to create income for JCD for them to be interested in it.
Evaluation The final concept addresses that concern because it provides a new stream of income, on sites that already exist so the investment price is small. It doesn’t infringe on existing advertising space clients as the spaces offered by ‘JCdecaux local’ are much less attractive. This allows JCDecaux to pass that saving on to the customer (local business) who then get the opportunity to advertise locally in a locale that best suits them as an advertiser, and they have the choice to create a campaign (or contract the services of the JCDecaux graduate scheme at a reduced rate). The service invites local-viral marketing, engaging the user in their product, increases positive feelings towards their brand and forces up sales.
The deckchair received more attention than the standard red arm chair as it was more novel, unusual- how would people react to something really crazy like a genuine aeroplane seat, that would really get people talking
Based on customer feedback from the ‘Flight Centre’ prototype I found that 40% of people said they would consider looking into Flight Centre’s flash sale service as the tactility of the campaign reminded them of the joys of a holiday in a way that a poster cannot do. My target market group, who are commuting bus users get the benefit of a break from the norm, they get to have a bit of fun on their journey, and by engaging physically with the products offered they are more likely to purchase, and unlike web based advertising which has a direct link to a point of sale, the interactivity of the campaign and the use of QR codes for on site purchases would inspire sales from my target market group, which has the disposable income to do so without regret.
Closing Thoughts Overall I think the project was a success, it is difficult to gauge the total success of the project as I have not received feedback from all of the stake holders yet, although the fact that one stakeholder wants to take the project to the next level is encouraging. I feel confident that if I was to pitch this to JCDecaux I have shown enough to prove that this service can make them money, and that local companies and local branches of national chains are ready and willing to get on board. Hopefully in the coming months a full scale pilot can be implemented, and if that is as successful as I predict it will be, then I can see this campaign being taken across the country to every site that JCDecaux own and manage- allowing local businesses access to advertising space and enriching bus transport for all stakeholders.
Published on May 13, 2012