We’ve just produced an advert for TV and social media designed to boost recruitment for Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus. I’m pleased to say that job applications have already significantly increased. 

Invitation to change

The bus companies’ aim was to appeal to people with great customer service skills who could improve their income once they had taken advantage of the free driver training on offer. We took a very straightforward approach. Show 3 characters at a call centre, a fast-food restaurant and a shop counter respectively, each one of them feeling gloomy. All they need to do to choose the new life of a bus driver (with its excellent salary) is to press the magic button. 

A 30-second version of the advert went out to a highly targeted audience using Sky Adsmart. Meanwhile, a 15-second version went out to various online platforms, such as YouTube, via Sky Digital. Finally, this was all part of broader campaign, including print ads featuring the characters and the distinctive graphical style on buses and bus stops, as well as other digital channels, such as brand social media.

Staff as Stars

One of the most clear-cut examples of an impactful TV advertising campaign in recent times is the Halifax Staff as Stars campaign. Their bold decision to feature their staff as actors helped Halifax differentiate itself in a competitive sector, leading to a 150% increase in sales and a 43% rise in profit per current account customer in the first year.

Movies change behaviour

It’s not only through advertising that film can affect behaviour. After the release of the original Top Gun movie, which was made with the support and approval of the US Navy, applications to enlist in the US Navy went up by 500 percent. 

And the movie Sideways, about two ageing alcoholics who go on a wine tasting tour, is credited with a spike in wine consumption and wine tourism. Amusingly, sales of the main character’s preferred tipple, pinot noir went up by sixteen percent, while sales of his disliked Merlot dropped a little.

Drama for change in large organisations

In large organisations a video drama campaign can also change behaviour, and impact culture. Like advertising, a video drama campaign is built on the hidden drivers behind the behaviour you want to affect.