For Oslo citizens, public transportation is a way of life. They commute every day to their daily duties, such as work and school. 

However, the travel pattern changes dramatically outside office and school hours. Ruter — Oslo’s public transportation network — was not top of mind when planning spare-time activities as people preferred using their own car.

How could we get people to travel with Ruter in their spare time? 

Ruter needed to be more relevant in people’s daily life. Ruter had to offer more than just traditional public transport. To do so, we had to add the extra spice — people and their stories.

The situation

Oslo has a well-developed public transportation system, provided by Ruter. The company operates more than 4,000 stations with more than 800,000 departures every day. This is a perfect set-up for the routine-driven people in Oslo who often commute the same route to and from work or school every day.

However, the travel pattern changes dramatically outside office and school hours. Ruter was not top of mind when planning spare time activities. People preferred using their own cars, which is not good for the environment nor Ruter. 

How could we get people to travel with Ruter in their spare time? 

Spare time is me time. People want to spend their spare time by doing things that give us energy, on things that we want to do and not need to do. The problem is that we often lack the ideas of what we really want and end up by doing nothing. Sound familiar?

Sharing platform

Ruter needed to be more relevant in people’s daily life. By inspiring people to find new places and activities in the city, Ruter would offer more than just traditional public transport. To do so, we had to add the extra spice — people and their stories.

The idea was to invite the people of Oslo to share their experiences near one of Ruter’s 4,000 stations on the sharing platform, www.4000holdeplasser.no. The campaign site was a map of Oslo with all the stations implemented, where people could pin their tips, upload photos, and write explanations.

We started by establishing a unique editorial collaboration with Oslo’s largest local newspaper and a popular Oslo blog. Through these collaborations, we recruited a lot of Ruter ambassadeurs. We even got a few celebrities from Oslo to tell about their best memories nearby a Ruter station. In addition, we used tailor-made OOH creatives, asking what to do at exactly that station.

When we reached 1,000 shared tips, we started to share them, using posters inside buses, trams, and metros. This gave us great access to those already commuting. We also shared the best tips through local newspapers, making the contributor a local hero. We topped it off by exhibiting some of the shared tips on a dedicated Oslo exhibition.

We took it even further when we created a Web TV series starring two circulating reporters. They traveled around Oslo, commuting with Ruter of course, and documented some of the most creative tips shared on www.4000holdeplasser.no. They tested everything from horseback riding, to waffles and bird watching. Eight episodes were shared through the local newspaper and Facebook.

Results

The campaign received massive PR, calculated to an exposure value of more than US$1 million:

  • More than half a million people in the Oslo region saw at least one of the Web TV episodes, which provides coverage to 50% of the population.

  • 35% of the post-test respondents said the campaign had contributed to a positive perception of Ruter.

  • Most importantly, 20% of the respondents said the campaign made them travel to a new place with Ruter.

That is a growth.