Dubai – (United Arab Emirates): Over the last few years the role of public transport has become more important than any time in the past as it generated a new steam of power and life in both small and metropolis cities. The more comfort the people feel in using public transport modes, the higher the rate of ridership. For this reason and others public transport modes have become an integral part of the general policies applicable as a tool to curb psychological pressure, traffic bottlenecks, accidents, noise, pollution and power consumption.
International experiments have proved that effective development drive in any city with global ambitions heavily rests on the continuous improvement of public transport; the prime means of transporting inhabitants and visitors.
Commenting on the impact generated by Dubai Metro on the city of Dubai, Director of Marketing & Corporate Communication of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai Peyman Younes Parham said: “Dubai Metro is bound to have a lasting effect on the mobility habits of visitors and inhabitants of the city. This multi-faceted impact takes numerous forms which will ultimately impact the lifestyle of people. With the growing confidence pinned in the capabilities of the integrated public transport system, we will be heading towards an enhanced version of mobility habits that looks pretty similar to the European model.”
Here comes the crucial role of providing integrated, multi-modal and world-class transport service based on peerless infrastructure, whereby public transport users will no longer miss their important meetings due to traffic congestion, and employees will come to their workplaces every morning in a good mindset as they will enjoy a reduced transit time from home to the workplace.
More than (10,000) workers supervised by more than (500) engineers are engaged in constructing Dubai Metro system; which will be fully integrated with public transport network in Dubai operated by the RTA. When completed, Dubai metro network will be the longest automated driverless metro system worldwide, and the first of its kind in the Middle East. This giant project has been undertaken after Dubai realized the important role of the metro in alleviating the intensity of the aggravating traffic bottlenecks, and improving accessibility to several giant property development projects in the emirate of Dubai.
When accomplished, Dubai Metro lines will extend (70) km interceded by 47 stations (including 9 underground stations). Work currently is up and running in constructing two lines and planning for three others. It is envisaged that the metro will be used on the average by about (1.2) million commuters per day i.e. (27,000) commuters per hour per line and (355) million commuters per annum, when the two lines operate in full swing, which means the metro is likely to account for (12%) of total mobility in the emirate of Dubai. Plans are in hand to construct new metro lines which will span (318) km by 2020 starting with the Purple Line which will start operation in 2012.
“To bolster this massive project, a marketing campaign was unleashed in April 2009 in coordination with Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Agency; a subsidiary of Publicis Groupe SA; the fourth largest group in this industry worldwide. This campaign paved the ground for many activities, structures and processes to deliver and explain the valuable services to commuters and the whole community. In order to make the most impact of the campaign on Dubai residents, an integrated strategy was adopted to merge various tools, concepts and marketing resources,” Parham continued.
“The core of campaign revolves around the findings of an extensive research carried out by the RTA in the context of DDP/IC Wilson Joint Project in the summer of 2008; which revealed a number of prevailing perceptions, psychological barriers and anticipations among people towards public transport in Dubai. This information, which was directly derived from potential customers, had been utilized in enhancing the marketing campaign to ensure its maximum effectiveness,” he said.
“The prime challenge confronting us today is how to orient and transform the habits of peoples. Luckily, this study offers us the proper platform to embark on a drive to win the hearts and minds of people, and explore how to educate them on the benefits that will accrue to them as a result of switching to public transport in general and Dubai Metro in particular.
“Among the salient features of Dubai Metro campaign is the method through which we address our prospective customers. Dubai Metro system, which will be the backbone of public transport in the city, has been designed to serve the city and its residents. So it follows that Dubai Metro will be their natural choice; and this triggered the theme of the campaign “My City, My Metro”; as we all want Dubai residents to be proud of the metro of their city.
“The strategic marketing campaign of Dubai Metro has been divided into 3 phases, and in keeping with the “Friendly Stamps” theory of Saatchi & Saatchi those three phases span the branding of Dubai Metro in a 4-level trip: (1) from just known to somewhat known, (2) known for a positive thing, (3) known for a different thing, and eventually (4) known for something generally appealing to people, and here the personal link between Dubai Metro name and the people is generated.”
“Much time and effort have been put into the planning process to ensure that the overall campaign takes into consideration the nature of the different needs of various segments of potential users who live or work in the city. Dubai is considered a unique city in becoming a host of a record number of nationalities from around the globe and some of them had used metro systems before, others not. This marketing campaign therefore needs to be customized to address each of them according to their own individual needs.
“The initial phase was run in April 2009 to unveil the concept of the campaign and remind the people that Dubai Metro will shortly be launched. This phase established the structure of Dubai Metro branding; which in turn laid the foundation for communicating and launching the core concept under the theme “My City, My Metro”. The underlying objective of the concept was to instill a sense of pride and belonging in the hearts of people towards the metro, considering it yet another major achievement to be added to the impressive array of Dubai’s successes,” said Parham.
To live up to its brand, the optical theme of the campaign visualizes the smooth mobility and interlinks provided by Dubai Metro to people. The graphical content of the ad shows how Dubai Metro links the milestones of the emirate such as Burj Dubai, the Palm Island and Jumeirah Grand Mosque to name a few. A host of media outlets have been carefully selected to serve the strategic objective of delivering this initial message across to customers and lay the ground for the following phase.
Phase II aims at educating people through sending multiple key messages showcasing the basic benefits of Dubai Metro to a wide spectrum of the targeted audience. In the light of our researches and general objectives, these basic messages have been classified into messages linked to the brand, and practical tactical messages. Messages linked to the brand feature several episodes such as the advanced built-in technology of all components of Dubai Metro project, safety aspects, gold class carriages, exclusive women and children compartments and several other services provided to commuters such as the freely accessible WiFi internet connectivity in all components of the metro system. The practical tactical messages cover many aspects which include fares, tickets, schedules and station locations. This campaign will traverse advertising perimeters to involve government departments and stakeholders from the private sector.
“Phase II will witness the launch of a key and crucial element of the campaign, where we will be moving at multiple fronts in coordination with the media and our partners. Considering the nature of ad messages, much emphasis will be placed on printed, radio and online media as well as public relation activities. Through Saatchi & Saatchi Agency, we have tasked a renowned visual artist from New York called Josh Cochran to materialize the optical theme of our printed ads. We have opted to adopt coloured drawings style for our campaign as it gives us a flexible & effective tool to deliver all our messages in a friendly manner. We haven’t applied this method before and we have a strong feeling that this campaign will capture the attention of the global audience, without compromising the relevance to the local audience in Dubai as well. The printed ads campaign will be supported through radio channels as we have designed several innovative methods of delivering our messages in a stylish manner in coordination with our partners AMG. The campaign will master more support from diverse PR activities and other promotional tools to ensure the provision of handy and detailed information to travelers. In a nutshell, this campaign will have a unique and creative approach likewise the metro project itself.”
“As this campaign has a national identity, RTA has teamed up with several local partners to boost the effectiveness of the campaign; which will witness a comprehensive and sweeping drive using multitude of traditional and non-traditional consumer touch-points. Moreover, the campaign will be closely monitored personally by Kevin Roberts; Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi and one of the prominent marketing & advertising gurus, as well as Elias Ashkar; Saatchi & Saatchi MENA Regional CEO. This authentic follow-up will continue throughout all phases of the campaign.
“Phase III will focus on the psychological friendly communication with all potential users of Dubai Metro through launching a powerful call for participation and activation of all sorts of individual communication. Additionally, Phase III will encompass reminders of the educative messages included in Phase II which will be synchronized with a world-class televised ad campaign to stress the theme of “My City, My Metro” and this Phase will hit the ground just before the start of the commercial service of Dubai Metro,” he added.
“Our objective of this campaign is to see people talking how Dubai Metro has transformed their life to the better and that everyone feels the pride of using the metro. We hope these concerted efforts will prop-up our ultimate goal of making Dubai the greatest city in the world,” he concluded.
from Roads & Transport Authority