A Cape for Our Face Perched Atop a Lipsticked Cliff: Canadian Train Ads Brilliantly Heroise the Face Mask
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BBDO Toronto and UP Express' welcome travellers back on board through the perspective of essential simple objects that ensure cleanliness
Sometimes the greatest heroes are the humblest. In the case of UP Express, a vital rail service between downtown Toronto and Pearson Airport operated by Metrolinx the heroes that make travel safe aren’t only their resilient staff – they’re also the spray bottles, the plexiglass shields, the hand sanitisers and the face masks, also known as capes for your face.
A service brand that has always upheld safety as a core component of its service, Metrolinx is taking strong measures to make riders feel comfortable on its trains, following a drastic decline in ridership since the start of the pandemic. But enhanced cleaning and hand sanitiser aren’t necessarily the most engaging topics, and the media landscape is full of somber messaging about these ‘unprecedented times.’ So, the brand recognised the opportunity for a distinctive tone to break through – to be entertaining and informative at the same time.
That’s why Metrolinx is welcoming people back on board through the perspective of the simple objects that are so essential to ensuring cleanliness.
Comprising of social, display, print, out-of-home, and customer communications, the cornerstone of the campaign is a series of online videos focusing on 'The Unknown Heroes' that highlight the sacrifice of various inanimate objects that make the safety effort possible. Dramatic visuals and a heroic-sounding voiceover are juxtaposed with simple inanimate objects that exist solely for our cleaning needs.
Each safety measure taken by Metrolinx is detailed through the perspective of the 'noble cleaning spray bottle' that won’t stop cleaning until the world is 'free of surfaces', or the face covering forever 'perched atop a lipsticked cliff'. Knowingly theatrical narration is accompanied by cinematic framing of these objects, adding a dose of levity to a serious topic, while time-lapse shots of sunset over downtown Toronto serve to remind audiences of the joy of travel.
This compelling campaign, created by BBDO Toronto, hopes to deliver on not just awareness, but assurance in UP Express. The 'Safety Never Stops' platform has even informed safety actions and communications throughout the Metrolinx organisation.
While the road to recovery for the travel industry may be long, UP Express is not only committed to the health and safety of its riders and crew members, they want to remind customers that they’ll be here for them when the time is right.
Client: Metrolinx (UP Express)
Campaign Title: 'Safety Never Stops'
Director, Brand & Digital Marketing: Sharyn Byrne-Nearing