New drive to get public back on the bus this summer

First BusPublic transport might not be everyone’s idea of a top travel experience but a new campaign from regional operator First Bus is aiming to overturn those perceptions and encourage Brits to rediscover the joy of the bus this summer.

Devised by agency MadeBrave, with media planning and buying handled by the7stars, the activity kicks off with a 40-second film, Catch the Summer, which presents a feel-good world drenched in colour and energy designed to inspire a stress-free summer.

Inviting consumers to “Plan, Tap, and Ride” their way through the school holidays, the ad pushes the First Bus App as a way of transforming their holiday plans one trip at a time.

Directed by Dominic O’Riordan, the film opens with a girl boarding a bus while her planned route is displayed on the First Bus App open on her phone. By simply tapping on and off the bus using the app, the doors swing open to reveal a charming town square where she meets friends for ice cream.

Subsequent scenes showcase more fun time summer scenarios that the First Bus app unlocks. From frisbee contests and beach days to pool parties and sizzling barbecues in the summer rain.

The campaign will run on broadcast video-on-demand (Sky, ITV and Channel 4), cinema and radio, and will roll out digitally across Reach, Meta platforms, YouTube and Snapchat to targeting young people.

It forms part of First Bus’ broader ambition to get consumers to leave the car behind and see buses as an attractive and fun way to get around, and with multiple benefits; taking the bus is cheaper, faster and more sustainable, apparently.

First Bus head of campaign strategy John MacLean said: “We set out with the ambition of building a campaign that would capture the imagination of people across the UK towards bus and the doors it can open for parents and kids alike during the summer months.

“MadeBrave has allowed us to continue to push the boundaries of what people would normally expect from a bus operator with a fun, vibrant and playful approach.

“Whether people are thinking of going to the park with friends for a barbecue, heading to the beach with family or simply grabbing an ice cream on a hot day, we hope this campaign will bring joy to their faces and inspire many to choose the bus as their go-to mode of transport this summer.”

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