HK Tramways appointed Stepworks as creative partner for a series of initiatives intended to revitalise the iconic transit operator’s brand.
Faced with decreasing passenger numbers due to competition from the opening of a new subway line, the initial brief involved advertising to highlight the value of the trams for short hops.
Stepworks developed striking creative depicting cartoon legs with trams strapped to their feet. This created the amusing and memorable illusion of giant people skating down the tram track.
Increased journeys – Passenger journeys increased by a substantial 5% after the campaign ran thanks to increased awareness, coupled with other factors, including improved scheduling.
Increased brand equity – The striking graphics on the trams received a very positive response from audiences and generated additional revenue through collectables merchandising.
“Thank you Stepworks for going the extra mile. You delivered a very successful and memorable campaign, the best we’ve had in the last 20 years. Our shared enthusiasm for the trams will no doubt cement our collaboration to protect and progress this beloved icon.”
Antoine Sambin, Commercial and Corporate Affairs Manager
A retired government official controversially proposed to remove the trams from Hong Kong’s crowded busy streets.
Fundamentally this meant replacing the city’s greenest and least expensive public transport with more polluting cars only wealthier citizens could afford. It also meant removal of a beloved Hong Kong icon.
Fortunately the public rallied around Hong Kong Tramways. Tram fans appropriated the campaign creative as a backdrop for their protests. The campaign images went viral, first in social media, which was then picked up by traditional media channels.
Stakeholder engagement – The campaign demonstrated how a strong idea can deliver benefits far beyond its initial scope.
Facilitating change – The success of the campaign enabled Tramways management to demonstrate the value of personality in branding. This helped pave the way for a commitment to rebrand the entire service.