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Project no.:


Project acronym:


Project title:

Successful Travel Awareness Campaigns and Mobility Management Strategies

Integrated Project

6.2 Sustainable Development

1.6.2 Sustainable Surface Transport Objective Advancing Knowledge on innovative measures in urban transport

Title of Report:

MAX WPA Task force 1
Overall campaign design

Status: final

Period covered:

Date of preparation:

27 October 2009

Start date of project:

1 Oct. 2006


36 months


Prepared by:

Uclan (M21 editing)

Checked by:

Verified by:


Dissemination level:

PU (public)

Project co-funded by the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Programme (2002-2008)

Table of Contents

List of Figures 5

1 WPA Task force 1 objectives 6

2 Method 8

3 Results 9

3.1 Literature review 9

3.2 Results Case study research 10

3.3 Results regarding the types of messages 11

3.4 Importance of branding in travel awareness campaigns 11

3.5 Results regarding the transferability of non-transport campaigns to transport campaigns, in particular from the health sector 12

3.6 Revisions of the Conceptual Framework following TF1 12

4 Conclusions and recommendations from Task force 1 14

4.1 Success Factors Campaign Design 14

4.2 Recommendations for campaign design from TF 1 14

5 Technical documents produced in Task force 1 16

6 References 18

List of Figures

Figure 1 Bike it -logo– case study (UK) 10

Figure 2: campaign image from CIVITAS Preston (travel smart)- case study (UK)) 10

Figure 3: campaign image from Fit For Life programme – case study (Finland) 10

Figure 4: Race against waste – case study (Ireland) 10

Figure 5:Anti binge drinking campaign (Scotland-UK) 11

1 WPA Task force 1 objectives

As indicated in the WPA Research Plan, the aim of Task Force One was to prepare a theoretical foundation to underpin additional research tasks regarding the design of effective travel awareness campaigns. This involved a continuation of the preparatory work of the State of the Art review, by:

  • defining the structure of a TA campaign

  • identifying the key success factors

  • and attributing them to relevant stages in the planning and delivery of the campaign

This involved firstly the construction of a working conceptual framework in order to provide a visual representation of the component parts of a campaign and their relationships (see figure 1).

Figure 1: Travel awareness framework 1

The Task Force 1 research also sought to analyse in more detail aspects of particular interest, namely:

  • emotional and rational messages

  • transferability of elements of non-transport campaigns

Within task force 1, the WPA objective to gain a better insight on the linkages between successful communication initiatives and all aspects of campaign design was addressed. It was investigated how to develop (awareness) strategies directed towards maintaining sustainable behaviour and changing unsustainable behaviour. Task force 1 looked upon transferable campaigns in areas other than transport and provided the first conclusions on how to create knowledge about "how to best raise attention": the value of different arguments, approaches, channels, media to change mobility behaviour by raising travel awareness to be further investigated by the task forces 2-5. Within the literature review the main behaviour change models were reviewed and it was investigated how it was used in the design of successful campaigns.


A more extensive review of the available literature on campaign design (of both conventional communications campaigns and social marketing design) was undertaken. This included a summary of the literature addressed by Work Package B regarding factors and processes influencing sustainable transport behaviour.

The findings of this review were cross-analysed with five case studies of real-life campaigns. The case study approach was chosen because it enabled the researchers to investigate the combination and sequencing of factors in campaigns using several sources of information (interviews with key persons involved in the delivery or evaluation of the campaign, company documentation, reports, independent evaluation studies, campaign materials etc). The use of a case study protocol detailed in the research plan ensured each piece of research was conducted using the same guidelines and specified that:

  • each case study had clear boundaries and maintained focus on the relevant research questions

  • the structure of each case study report was consistent and therefore comparable (a template was designed for research team member to follow)

  • evidence was scrutinised for its validity and usefulness, types of data prioritised and then triangulated to identify commonalities and divergences

In short, five case studies in both travel awareness and other sectors were analysed:

  • CIVITAS-SUCCESS in Preston (UK)

  • Binge Drinking in Scotland (UK)

  • Race Against Waste (Ireland)

  • Fit For Life (Ministries of Education and of Social Affairs and Health), Finland

  • Bike it, Sustans (UK)

Task Force 1 also gained further insights by reviewing papers by experts on branding (an aspect identified in the SoA review as important for further study) and health campaigns (to provide a more informed understanding of success factors in non-transport campaigns).The findings are detailed in two thematic papers. See section 5 for a complete overview of technical documents of TF11. The overall analysis on the case studies, papers and other literature review is found in a review report:


3.1Literature review

The literature review explored the elements of traditional marketing communication campaigns to assess their structure and critical success factors. It recognised the four basic elements: sender, message, receiver and channel. There are concerns within the literature that effective design rules are difficult to generate, as the contexts of campaigns differ widely (Schenk and Dobler: 2002). Models of campaigns such as Weinrich’s (1999) also identified a need to recognise timescale and resource factors in any given campaign. It was considered that an improved conceptual framework for travel awareness should take notice of the sequencing of overlapping campaign stages. Whilst these elements could be considered as a foundation for a model of a travel awareness campaign, the pressing need was to consider behavioural change (as undertaken in WPB) and thus the adoption of a social marketing approach in campaign design rather than simply a marketing communications approach.

Social marketing is an approach which adopts the principles of marketing in pursuing ideas which seek to improve society in some way. The National Social Marketing Centre (2007) list:

  • segmentation of the target audience,

  • research and pre-testing,

  • assessment of the competition (competing messages from other campaigns),

  • and stakeholder partnerships

as necessary elements of a social marketing campaign.

Studies on campaigns by Kosmosti et al: (2007) and Cooper (2006) also highlight the importance of formative research, and evaluation at different stages of a campaign. In addition to the one-way transmission of messages from sender to the receiver, characteristic of communications campaigns, the social marketing mix includes offering alternatives (in travel awareness this would normally signify alternatives to cars), and relationship marketing which is more dynamic and interactive (Peattie & Peattie: 2009). Building relationships increases loyalty and enhances the pervasiveness of communication (Stead: 2003). Fundamental is the goal of behavioural change and two relevant models: the Stages of Change model (Prochaska and DiClemente, 1983) and the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen: 1991) illustrate that the receiver often responds to any given message in a complicated way and it is certainly not a linear or binary process.

Transport campaigns have been slow to adopt elements of social marketing approaches but this is now changing. Anable (2003) has demonstrated that sub-groups in the target audience can be identified by attitudinal and behavioural variants relating to their car-use. Thus, treating the public as consumers is necessary for understanding how to influence them to adopt sustainable behavioural change (Jackson: 2005), and understanding their lifestyles is equally important as their travel behaviour (Taylor and Ampt (2003). These are referred to in our work as formative research and form a core part of the planning stage in any campaign.

3.2Results Case study research

The 5 case studies conducted for Task Force 1 were as follows:

Figure 1 Bike it -logo– case study (UK)

Bike It was established in the UK in 2004. It is associated with the Safe Routes to Schools project initiated by Sustrans in the UK. The aim of Bike It is to encourage children of primary school age and lower secondary (mainly targeting 9-12 year olds) to travel to school by bicycle instead of being taken by car. The campaign gives an example of a successful project which encouraged a modal switch to cycling in a country where numbers of people cycling are very low, due to concerns over child safety, sedentary lifestyles and car ownership. It was also chosen to assess the effect of a campaign for which the intended behavioural change was primarily aimed at children (but must first occur with their parents).

Figure 2: campaign image from CIVITAS Preston (travel smart)- case study (UK))

Within the city of Preston, a CIVITAS city in the UK, a travelsmart campaign was set up (period 2006-2008) to get individuals and households to think about their every day journeys then consider how they might change from car based trips to other modes in light of information provided by the TravelSmart adviser. The campaign was chosen as it is a good example of an individualised marketing campaign which was successful and was heavily affected by accompanying hard measures.

Figure 3: campaign image from Fit For Life programme – case study (Finland)

The goal of the Fit for Life Programme in Finland (from 1995 onwards) was to increase the number of regularly exercising 40–60-year-old subjects by 10% in five years (double the long-term trend). The emphasis was on the promotion of regular physical activity among previously sedentary people through local projects. The programme tested a combination of top-down and bottom-up models of promoting health-enhancing physical activity through financial, communication, training and consultation support for a wide variety of small-to-medium local projects. The campaign was chosen as it provided an example of a health based campaign which demonstrated potential transferable elements.

Figure 4: Race against waste – case study (Ireland)

Race Against Waste (Ireland) was a national communication campaign (2003-2006) designed to persuade members of the public to think more about what they consume and subsequently the waste they generate; to become active in preventing waste, as well as managing the waste they do produce responsibly and sustainably. The campaign had to take this non-issue and transform it into a big issue – position it as top of people’s minds and as being socially important. The case study was well documented and provided a non-transport perspective which demonstrated some transferable elements.

Figure 5:Anti binge drinking campaign (Scotland-UK)

As part of a multi-action programme to tackle the causes and consequences of alcohol misuse, the Scottish Executive launched a communication programme. The first component in 2003 comprised the “Don't let too much drink spoil a good night out” campaign which was mainly a promotional campaign using advertising to address the issue of binge drinking especially within the 16-24 year old age group. The strategy was expanded later on with a second component “Alcohol. Don’t Push It” campaign targeted at young people from 16 to 35 year old. The campaign was an example of a campaign to prevent undesirable, potentially harmful behaviour which was successful and contained a strong media element.

The case study findings, in addition to the literature review, brought about a consensus amongst the researchers that the conceptual framework should be revised to reflect timescale, stage, and to place greater emphasis on research and evaluation throughout the entire campaign design process. There were also elements identified in all or most of the case studies which were influential in the campaigns success. These were considered as success factors to be further investigated in the subsequent taskforces of WPA. For example, all of the case studies considered in TF1 and the overall literature pointed to the importance of stakeholders or partnership involvement in campaign development and subsequent roll out.

3.3Results regarding the types of messages

Case study results showed positive messages were important within CIVITAS-travel smart and the Fit for Life campaigns. However, shocking (negative) images were prominent and effective in the Scottish anti binge-drinking campaign, and Race against Waste. It is unclear whether this emotive approach would be transferable to transport campaigns. In theory, there are complicated cognitive processes linked to emotions which affect choices in life, including mode of travel, but there are few practical examples of direct evaluation of the emotional or rational arguments utilised in travel awareness campaigns. The interviews with campaign designers indicated that emotional and rational approaches, are not often consciously included within the design. The Bike It project involved projecting the fun image of cycling for children and the Race Against Waste and Binge Drinking in Scotland campaign used a ‘shock’ approach containing imagery designed to stimulate certain emotions (fear or revulsion). The CIVITAS campaign, and to an extent the Fit for Life campaigns adopted rational approaches. Screening processes to determine which people were more susceptible to emotional approaches than others preferring a rational approach were not made. Thus, this was a topic for additional study within Task Force 3 and was explored further in the demonstrations: Short Trip Campaign Sint-Truiden and Hammersmith intervention study.

3.4Importance of branding in travel awareness campaigns

This topic was explored by WPA partner Lylebailie in a separate paper “Branding in Travel Awareness”. This paper provided a general overview on brands, which are part of everyday life, but also work at complex levels. Consumers form expectations specifically in relation to the brands they encounter. These are based on both tangible elements such as product and name, plus intangible elements such as values, promises, level of consumer involvement and emotions. Few examples of branding in Travel Awareness were found, but it was deemed that the transport market is similar to any other, as there is a need to focus on influencing the choices of the consumer. Using the following case studies of best practice: Metro (the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive), Wiener Linien in Vienna, Transports Metropolitan de Barcelona, and Translink, Northern Ireland, the paper concluded that people make important travel decisions based on brands, and that in attempting to compete against private transport, sustainable mobility needs to sell a better way of life.

The importance of branding was further investigated in the case study analysis undertaken in the task forces 2, 4 and 5.

3.5Results regarding the transferability of non-transport campaigns to transport campaigns, in particular from the health sector

The evaluation of non-transport campaigns within the Task Force 1 case studies provided the opportunity to identify useful elements which may be transferable to travel awareness campaigns. There was, for example, substantial evidence to support a staged campaign. In the cases considered, the initial stage was principally designed to attract the attention of the target audience in relation to the problem, followed by more prolonged stages providing the message, including motivational statements and information. This also included practical applications such as the provision of information, trial or incentives.

There are more detailed recommendations relating to transferable elements from health campaigns. Health campaigns have been developing longer than those associated with transport. The paper on ‘learning from health campaigns“ looked at how travel awareness campaigns can learn from them. It concentrated principally on campaigns which intend to increase levels of physical activity, detailing a systematic review on mass-media campaigns, case studies of several countries where mass media has been used, and also assessing the transferability to transport based campaigns. Similarities include the complexity of the behavioural change process involved, and a likely resistance to change among people. Differences include competing behaviours (car being convenient versus sedentary lifestyles being more relaxing). Conclusions were that campaigns should involve long time periods (2 years or more) and work at many levels to change social norms, from grass-roots to wider strategies including policy and environmental change. The main recommendations are summarised as follows:

  • Plan for the long term

  • Do not focus exclusively on behaviour change as an outcome

  • Understand the target audience

  • Use campaigns as part of a multi-level ‘ecological’ approach

  • Link campaigns to ‘grass roots’ activities on the ground

  • Work through intermediaries wherever possible

  • Evaluate everything

For an extensive review, we refer to the technical report in appendix.

3.6Revisions of the Conceptual Framework following TF1

Therefore, there was a need to revise the conceptual framework presented during the early stages of WPA in order to re-appraise the balance afforded to three core elements of the campaign design process:

  1. the importance of the planning stage to research audience needs and attitudes, pre-test campaign measures and to fine tune segmentation before embarking on the main stages of message and medium development of a campaign

  2. to recognise the ongoing dialogue between the campaign designer/manager at all stages of the campaign process. The dynamic nature of campaigns and this constant feedback is a vital part of the overall process

  3. to include evaluation as a more prominent part during the whole campaign. There is a need to strengthen the evaluation of campaign results so as to ensure that funding partners and other stakeholders are assured with regard to the effectiveness of a campaign, not only in the short term but also in the medium term.

There were a number of other minor changes which require consideration.

  1. An expanded model would include external factors (such as economic and environmental factors) which provide a stronger contextual background in the case of any intervention. This could be identified in a SWOT; a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis.

  2. The framework needed to provide an indication of the timing of when stages of the campaign occur may be needed albeit loosely enough to allow the repetition of some steps (as in pre-testing stages and feedback). There was also an issue of resources but this did not affect the core processes and principles of campaign design.

4Conclusions and recommendations from Task force 1

4.1Success Factors Campaign Design

Based on these Task Force 1 investigations (both literature review and case study analysis) a number of travel awareness campaign success factors were distilled; these were principally the hallmarks of the NCSM social marketing benchmarks (French, 2009).

The most important success factors are summarised as follows:

  1. Clarity of aims and objectives (E.g. Race against Waste; Ireland).

  2. Pre-campaign research to gain a deeper understanding of the target audience, the potential barriers and how to deliver the campaign effectively (E.g. Race against Waste, Ireland).

  3. Segmentation is a core approach in most campaigns so targeting of segments and seeking their ownership of the campaign is key (e.g. Travelsmart in CIVITAS Preston).

  4. Branding is equally important to gain awareness especially from a wider population than the core target audience (E.g. Bike it, UK).

  5. Simplicity of the campaign message is vital to success. This requires pre-testing of a campaign message and feedback from the audience, standing apart from competing messages and using an appropriate medium to engage and build interest. (E.g. Campaign against Binge Drinking, Scotland)

  6. Stakeholder involvement, and backing from governments and local organisations (e.g. Fit for Life; Finland).

  7. Research and monitoring throughout the process (e.g. CIVITAS Preston)

Some other useful elements of campaign design which were evident in the case studies include:

  • Frequent personal contact - In most of the campaigns studied, networking between those working as part of the campaign has greatly improved the effectiveness of the campaign (E.g. Bike-it officers, UK).

  • Highlighting the potential of making small changes is important (such as replacing local car-trips by walk or cycle trips), which can help the receiver make the change more easily than a major change (such as selling the household car!). (E.g. Fit for Life, Finland).

  • Encouraging several different measures (for example, cycling or walking do not damage the environment but if they are not possible, a bus or train is a less polluting option than a car) (E.g. Travel smart CIVITAS-Preston).

  • Supportive measures including infrastructural measures were also found to increase success of transport campaigns as was a high provision of accessible information to assist the target population in making the intended behavioural change (E.g. Bike it, UK).

4.2Recommendations for campaign design from TF 1

It is important to note that the research of TF1 identified a wide range of success factors. These have been incorporated in re-thinking of the revised framework of campaign design. There are a number of critical success factors which have been distilled from the evidence drawn from both the literature and the case studies below are highlighted in table 3.

Table 1: The ‘Five Ds’ of campaign design


To clarify aims and objectives, scale and scope and a resource base with stakeholders and then to plan a campaign to meet longer term behavioural change. This is a core element in the planning stage.


The need for an approach which is underlined by research from the planning stage to post completion. It needs to be based on a dialogue with the target audience(s) throughout the campaign. The dialogue ideally should engage family, community and institutions such as the key stakeholders.


The campaign needs to be rolled out in stages in order to be adaptable; it should be able to respond to the dynamism of the target audience and the campaign momentum. In this way negative inputs (such a competitive messages) can be countered and positive inputs (such as personalities speaking in favour of the behavioural change) can be nurtured.


The message needs to focus initially on emotional appeals to gain attention and then to build on rationality to achieve behavioural change; changing social norms requires strong emotional appeal. A balance between emotion and rationality is a key to success; there’s no rule of thumb as to the mix required. This will vary according to the nature of any given campaign.


The campaign needs to monitor measures of success at each stage as well as beyond the end of the project -review and measurement of effectiveness have to be consistent. Documentation of the campaign throughout-including photographs –is vital.

5Technical documents produced in Task force 1

MAX WPA Protocol for case studies, prepared by Uclan and M21, 11pp

A briefing note to guide partners working together in WPA with regard to the development of case studies: definition of case selection criteria, data collection and analysis methods and reporting template.

MAX WPA TF1 Case Study Analysis - CIVITAS-SUCCESS in Preston (UK), prepared by Uclan, 28pp

A good practice case study of an individualised marketing campaign delivered to the population of Preston, a CIVITAS city in the UK, which aimed to enhance awareness and encourage the use of new and existing hard transport measures.

MAX WPA TF1 Case Study Analysis – Binge Drinking in Scotland (UK), prepared by AUTH, 22pp

A good practice case study of two campaigns that ran concurrently as part of a wider movement to encourage sensible drinking in Scotland (UK), using a mix of media: ‘Don't let too much drink spoil a good night out’ & ‘Alchohol: Don’t push it’.

MAX WPA TF1 Case Study Analysis – Race Against Waste (Ireland), prepared by LyleBailie International, 31pp

A good practice case study of a national Irish communication campaign implemented by Lyle-Bailie (MAX partner and international advertising consultancy) designed to reduce levels of waste and encourage recycling.

MAX WPA TF1 Case Study Analysis – Fit For Life (Ministries of Education and of Social Affairs and Health, Finland), prepared by WHO, 22pp

A good practice case study of a Finnish campaign aimed at the 40-60 age group to improve physical health. The campaign was implemented on several scales from local to national, by several sectors including transport, environment, social affairs as well as health.

MAX WPA TF1 Case Study analysis - Bike it, Sustans (UK), prepared by UCLAN, 37p

A good practice case study of a project aimed at increasing the number of children cycling to school in the UK delivered in individual schools, for a fixed time, and repeated across the country. Bike It is affiliated to ‘Safe Routes to Schools’.

MAX WPA TF1 paper, Branding in Travel Awareness, prepared by LyleBailie International, 16pp

A paper exploring the importance of branding in travel awareness campaigns based on the good practice examples of Metro (the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport), Wiener Linien in Vienna (At), Transports Metropolitan de Barcelona (Es-, and Translink in Northern Ireland.

MAX WPA TF1 paper, What can we learn from Health Promotion Campaigns? What can be applied to sustainable transport campaigns? prepared by WHO, 23pp.

The paper concentrates principally on campaigns which intend to increase levels of physical activity, detailing a systematic review on mass-media campaigns, case studies of several countries where mass media has been used and also assessing the transferability to transport based campaigns.

MAX-WPA TF1 Review of Conceptual Framework and Campaign Success Factors, prepared by Uclan, 38pp.

This paper provides an overview of campaign design in relation to travel awareness based on the TF1-case study analysis, TF1-papers and other literature review conducted in task force 1.


Anable, J. (2003) Targeting Mobility Management Policy Using Market Segmentation. ECOMM 2003 Workshop 2 e, May 1-3, Karlstad

Azjen, I. (1991) The Theory of Planned Behaviour. Organizational and Human Decision Processes, 50, pp179-211

Cooper, C. (2006) Successfully Changing Individual Travel Behavior: Applying Community Based Social Marketing to Travel Choice Available

Cornelissen, L. and Slotboom, Y. (2005), Intercultural competencies: Turning global strategy into tangible reality; Original authors: Paul Banks, Bob Waisfisz, ITIM-intercultural management.

French, J., Blair-Stevens, C., McVey, D., & Merritt, R. (Editors) (2009) Social Marketing and Public Health: Theory and practice. Oxford University Press

Hofstede, G. (2001) Culture's Consequences, Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications.

Jackson, T. (2005), Motivating sustainable consumption : a review of evidence on consumer behaviour and behavioural change. Centre for Environmental Strategy : University of Surrey.

Kosmosti et al: (2007),‘Reconsidering Motorcycle Safety at Purdue: A Case Study Integrating Campaign Theory and Practice’ Cases in Public Health Communication and Marketing 1

National Social Marketing Centre, (2006) National Heath-related Campaigns Review, London, National Social Marketing Centre

Peattie, K. & Peattie, S. (2009), “Social marketing: A pathway to consumption reduction?”, Journal of Business Research, (Feb), 62/2, pp 260-268

Prochaska, J. O. & DiClemente, C. C. (1983) 'Stages and processes of self-change of smoking: Toward an integrative model of change'. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology., 51, (3), pp. 390-395.

Schenk, M. & Dobler, T. (2002) ‘Towards a Theory of Campaigns’ in Klingemann, H-D. & Rommele, A. Public Information Campaigns and Opinion Research: A Handbook for the Student and Practitioner London: SAGE

Stead M, Hastings G. B. & Eadie D. R. (2003). Desk Research to Inform the Development of Communications to Reduce Drug Use and Drug Related Harm in Socially Excluded Communities. Report for the Home Office and Department of Health

Taylor, M. A. P. & Ampt, E. S. (2003) 'Travelling smarter down under: policies for voluntary travel behaviour change in Australia'. Transport Policy, 10, (3), pp. 165-177.

Weinrich, N. K. (1999) Hands-on Social Marketing Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE

1 The full case study reports and the two papers are downloadable from

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