IPA Effectiveness Awards 2010: Bronze Award - MTR

Title: How branding generated sales, even in a recession

Client: MTR Corporation

Entrant: Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Hong Kong

Author: Terence Ling, O&M Advertising Hong Kong

Contributing author: Clarissa Tam, O&M Advertising Hong Kong

Credited companies - Creative agency: O&M Advertising Hong Kong; media agency: OMD

Media used: Ambient, magazines, newspapers, outdoor/poster, PR, radio, TV, viral/social media, website/microsite


By addressing customer loyalty and highlighting the emotional value of the MTR, the campaign re-established a brand bond with its users, generating a payback of £4.83 for every £1 spent.


MTR, the local subway, is Hong Kong's most used mode of public transport that is closely tied to the country's fortunes. MTR set itself a primary objective of sustaining passenger boardings and upholding brand equity, despite the recession. Rather than using gimmicky promotions or incentives, communications were instead aimed at addressing customer loyalty at its deepest level - brand bonding. Various TV ads told the everyday stories of people on the MTR, highlighting the emotional value of the MTR in Hong Kongers' lives, under the line "MTR: Caring for life's journeys". The campaign generated £9.4 million incremental revenue, and paid back £4.83 for every £1 spent.


The MTR campaign highlighted the value of following a strong emotional advertising strategy, with clear insight into the target market. A successful and admirable case of brand-bonding.

Gill Barr, head of marketing UK and Ireland, MasterCard.