HAIL TO THE BUS DRIVER by UM for Football Federation Of Australia (ffa)

HAIL TO THE BUS DRIVER

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Industry Sports Teams & Events
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Australia
Agency UM
Director Christopher O'keefe
Released February 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Special Events and Stunt/Live Advertising
Advertiser: FOOTBALL FEDERATION OF AUSTRALIA
Product/Service: AUSTRALIA VS INDONESIA
Date of First Appearance: Feb 25 2010 12:00AM
Entrant Company: UM, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Communications Strategist: Lauren Cassar
Account Manager: Hugo Cutrone
Senior Manager Marketing: Peter Jarmain
Marketing Coordinator: Kate Gillmer
Director: Christopher O'Keefe
Client Services Manager: Maura Tuohy
Buyer: Briar Rowsell
Account Executive: Daniel Spirovski
Media placement: Walking Billboard - Bus Drivers - 25/02/2010
Media placement: Large Format Ambient - Bespoke Interior Decorations By Bus Drivers - 25/02/2010

Results and Effectiveness
In the lead up to the match, Queensland received over one month’s worth of rain in just three days – not the type of weather that inspires people to get off their lounges and into seats at the stadium. Despite the weather we still managed to attract 20,422 match attendees, 137% greater than the average first-grade match attendance at the same ground!! We created a visible fan-base of influencers from people who were integral to consumers’ lives. The execution came with no media spend – essentially we’d built ourselves a new media channel. All hail the bus driver, the Socceroos' biggest fan.

Creative Execution
Nothing like this had ever been done before. In an Australian media first, we sought the cooperation of the Brisbane City Council and arranged for 250 local bus drivers to become national football ambassadors. We wanted to spark word of mouth activity so distributed fact sheets with details about the upcoming match. Drivers were also briefed on the importance of generating local support and were supplied with interesting ways to speak to their passengers about the game. Not only were our ambassadors talking about the game but they became a visual cue for it. The 250 drivers swapped their ‘bus driver blues’ (their standard uniform) for the national football uniform. The green and gold was alive and driving everyone to work! To show our gratitude for their participation, we sent all 250 bus drivers to the match for a well-earned night out at the soccer.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Australia is a proud sporting nation and most Australians would boast of watching more sport than any other nationality. However, Queensland is a state where soccer is in its infancy and ranked fourth on the list of fan priorities after Rugby League, Rugby Union and AFL! On March 3rd, the City of Brisbane was to host an Asian Cup qualifying match – the Australian national side, the Socceroos versus Indonesia. The Socceroos needed a large crowd to have a true home-ground advantage. The problem was, Queenslanders were not aware of the match or its importance! With no local buzz around soccer, the idea was to identify authentic community members who interact with thousands of other locals every day, and through them, create a simulated fanbase. We reached out to local bus drivers to get behind the cause and rally their passengers to do the same. As such was born: “Hail to the Bus Driver!”