Adbikes & Walking Billboards: City of Toronto – Public Health

Project Description

Client: City of Toronto Public Health
Agency: Fingerprint Communications
Medium: Adbikes, Walking Billboards
Market: Toronto
Objective: To promote the City of Toronto’s Active Transportation Program regarding:

  • Easing traffic congestion
  • Health benefits of walking and cycling
  • Low cost of building bike lanes as opposed to roads
  • Daily advantages of walking and cycling over driving a vehicle
  • Financial benefit to the healthcare system if more people exercised
  • Reduced wait times for medical care if fewer people needed to access the system
  • Reduced chance of developing chronic illness by walking or cycling instead of driving

Tactic: Validation of the appropriateness of Fingerprint’s and the City’s choice of Wild On Media’s human-powered advertising mediums, is that Metro News ran a photo captioning it with “Walking Billboards leading by example.” A local farmers market also posted photos of the team handing out free bicycle bells on their Facebook page.

Each of the two Adbikes featured fun and memorable messages on 10 printed panels customized for the cycling versus driving thrust of the campaign:

  • “I’m not just saving money on gas”
  • “Hey cars, I’ll wait for you up ahead”

These messages communicated that building bike lanes costs less than building roads, and for short trips, cycling is quicker than driving. Wild On Media’s Adbikes, which are actually four-wheeled and chain-driven, are unique in Canada gaining attention wherever they go. People frequently ask how they work, if they can sit in them for selfie photos, and ask where the great music is coming from! At the same time they absorb the full message of the advertiser. Rather than merely stepping aside, people take notice of their uniqueness and fun appearance, and happily pause to take them in, read the advertiser’s messages and listen to the music.

The Walking Billboards were split into teams and distributed in three areas of Toronto. The billboards deployed in a given area were continuously changed so that all the messages were used in all areas several times over. Having both hands free, the Brand Ambassadors actively engaged people that were curious as to the message and purpose of the campaign. The team would split up when crowds became heavy so as not to block people, and they gathered together whenever there was plenty of space, in order to heighten their visual impact.

Nearly 13,000 flyers were distributed and the free bicycle bells were greatly appreciated by people of all ages. Improving and building active transportation infrastructure is good for everyone in terms of improving health, cost savings and improving Toronto’s air quality. Wild On Media was proud to have been selected to help communicate this message.

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