IPA Effectiveness Awards 2005: Bronze Award - Arriva Buses

ARRIVA BUSES Campaign: Going your way Client: Arriva plc Agency: Cogent Elliott Principal authors: Mike Rayner, Nicola Simpson Media used: Print, outdoor, radio, cinema, press


The aim of this campaign was simple: increase the number of passengers for Arriva, the bus operator, in the face of increasing competition from a powerful competitor - the motorcar.

This paper shows how Arriva lured people on to its buses and reversed the long-term decline in passenger numbers in the market as a whole. Light-to-medium users of buses, who could be persuaded to travel more frequently, were targeted using a six-monthly door-drop of bulletins. These contained user-friendly route maps, suggestions of places to go, guides to service frequencies and money-off vouchers.

The campaign has reversed the underlying decline in bus passenger numbers by generating positive growth of more than a million incremental journeys in the test periods alone, while achieving a positive return on investment.


"Arriva's strong case was worthy of particular note because it tailored the marketing to specific routes and evaluated the campaign rigorously on the same basis. The judges liked the honesty of the submission - the authors admitted the campaign didn't work at first but learned from it and then got it right."

- Martin Deboo, business strategy partner, Ingram.

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