TfL reworks its famous signs to welcome Londoners back ahead of Freedom Day

A partnership with Time Out also brings the launch of a digital cultural map of activities surrounding London’s stations.

Transport for London (TfL) is marking the lifting of restrictions this week by reworking its instantly recognisable signs to welcome travellers back to the network.

Launching on Freedom Day (19 July), "Welcome back. Tube it. Bus it. Train it" Is VCCP’s latest integrated campaign for TfL and encourages the public to go back out – be it by Tube, bus, train, tram, riverboat or Emirates Airline cable car – and take part in the activities and visit the destinations they may have missed during lockdown.

The campaign film acknowledges this by showcasing the signs and reworking them to show phrases such as “Going out-out”, “Drinks after work” and “Family days out”.

Station takeovers and out of home across London Underground stations, digital escalator panels and screens, such as Canary Wharf, will also feature.

In addition, Wavemaker Content has arranged a partnership with Time Out for the launch of a digital cultural map of activities surrounding London’s stations and a competition to win experiences across the capital. VCCP will design a collage of the signs to adorn a cover wrap for the magazine.

Targeting Londoners aged between the ages of 18 and 44, the campaign aims to remind them that public transport isn’t just about routes and timetables – it’s about their lives.

Miranda Leedham, head of customer marketing and behaviour change at TfL, said: “Very few brands are so linked to a city as TfL is to London. When VCCP first showed us this campaign as part of their pitch presentation, we were delighted to see our network, our most recognisable branding devices and our role as the facilitator of London life all brought to life in such a charming way. We hope that this campaign will welcome Londoners back and motivate them to get back to living life again to their fullest."

Simon Learman, creative director at VCCP, added:TfL and London are inseparable. No other brand reflects the city more and shares so much in both its success and hard times. Its world famous, iconic signage and transport are proud emblems of our city. We’ve used the much loved, iconic signage across the campaign to remind people of the role of TfL in their daily lives and what makes London so unique.”

Directed by Simon Ratigan of HLA, the shoot was conducted during the tightest levels of lockdown, forcing the team into approaches that required the highest level of safety precautions. A small mobile crew spent three days on the network, shooting genuine customers using the network, rather than actors.

The campaign will run until the end of September, with media handled by Wavemaker. It will be rolled out across TV, video on demand, social media, out of home, online video on YouTube and CRM.