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M&C Saatchi Asks Public to ‘Get ahead of the Games’ with New Campaign

M&C Saatchi has created an integrated campaign to raise awareness of travel behaviour during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Developed for Transport for London (TfL), the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), and other transport operators, this is set to be one of the biggest communications campaign associated with the London 2012 Games, and launches on 30 January.

The agency was briefed to develop a range of communications—from outdoor to digital to PR—to target people who travel through areas that will be 2012 Games travel hotspots this summer, encouraging them to plan ahead and look at their travel options to help them avoid the busy times and places.

Photo: A print from the Get Ahead of the Games campaign

The new campaign encourages those using the transport system during Games time to ‘Get Ahead of the Games.’ With the increased volume of people in London during the Games, everyone will need to understand the implications, and be encouraged to start considering new modes of travel, new routes or altering their usual times to avoid congestion.

The campaign uses an engaging, humorous illustrative approach by showing caricatures of Olympic  and Paralympic athletes in day-to-day London transport situations to raise awareness of potential transport congestion hotspots. For example, one advert features two stereotypical and amusingly large weightlifters causing obvious disruption as they are squeezing themselves through the doors of a busy train. Ads will encourage people to seek transport information before travelling, which will be available using www.getaheadofthegames.com that will help people plan ahead and check their travel options.

The campaign follows the successes of previous behaviour change work by the agency, such as the Teenage Road Safety campaign for Transport for London and Change4Life for the Department of Health.

Chris MacLeod, Marketing Director at TfL, said, “Getting people to adapt their travel behaviour during the Games, at certain times and locations will be a key to the success of the 2012 Games. We have worked hard to ensure this campaign gets this message across, while ensuring that people understand that London and the other Olympic venues remain very much open for business. M&C Saatchi quickly understood our task and using a light-hearted, illustrative style were able to communicate this balance in a clear and engaging way to people who use our transport network.”

Carrie Hindmarsh, CEO of M&C Saatchi, added, “Big behaviour change campaigns like this are the life blood of M&C Saatchi, especially following successes with Change4Life and Transport for London. This has been a very challenging campaign due to its scale and complexity and we have relished the challenge. We are delighted to be playing our part in making the 2012 Olympics a true success.”

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