Department for Infrastructure - Great Things Happen When You Walk

Department for Infrastructure
Advertising Agency
Belfast, UK
Agency / Creative
Music / Sound

The Brief

Ardmore was briefed by The Department of Infrastructure to develop an integrated communications campaign to encourage people to walk more instead of taking the car, to reduce traffic, improve the environment and encourage more active and sustainable travel.

The Change Required

The car is the default.

In fact, according to the Travel Survey for Northern Ireland, 82% of all miles travelled are by car, while only 3% are by foot.

Research indicated that as well as walking being seen as retrograde, compared to driving, it was also seen as:

  • - Slow – “you always feel as if you are rushed”
  • - Weather dependent – “it just makes it miserable if you go out and then get caught in the rain”
  • - Insecure – “a night when it’s dark is not a good time to go walking…which cuts out most of the winter”

In short… Walking. Takes. Effort.

Creative Solution

The creative approach was to position walking competitively against driving for everyday needs, e.g. the commute to work, going to the shops and the school drop off.

So how do you make walking for mundane tasks more attractive than the quicker, more convenient car?

By helping people see that the extra little bit of time and effort is worth it because GREAT THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU WALK.

The film starts with our hero’s choice of whether to drive or leave the car and walk. The juxtaposition of everyday pleasures and human connection with significant moments creates a sense of purpose and emotion. Great moments that happen when we walk.


The first tracking research findings revealed that the campaign had a powerful influencing effect on both those that saw it for the first time, and those who had been previously exposed to and were aware of the campaign.

- 57% campaign awareness

- 72% were influenced by the campaign to ‘leave the car behind and walk more, especially for short journeys’ - rising to 78% amongst those who were aware of and had been previously exposed to the campaign

- 73% agreed that ‘walking is worth the extra effort’ - rising to 79% amongst those who were aware of and had been previously exposed to the campaign

- 72% agreed that ‘Great things happen when you walk’ - rising to 79% amongst those who were aware of and had been previously exposed to the campaign

- 75% have acted or intend to take action as a result of the campaign – rising to 81% amongst those who were aware of and had been previously exposed to the campaign.

- Examples of these actions include ‘Go for walks more regularly’ (53%); and ‘Think twice about taking the car’ (25%)

About ardmore
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As a consequence of this, in the past 24 months Ardmore Worldwide Partners has delivered high-impact marketing campaigns and solutions in 14 countries, including the staging of experiential campaigns in cities from Prague to Singapore, Geneva to London, achieving spectacular results.

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