Brands sponsor your ride

I am always interested in innovative ways for brands to provide valuable gestures and it seems a Spanish company has developed one that ticks a lot of boxes.

We’ve seen many gestures recently including free Wi-Fi and free music – now brands have the opportunity to gain kudos for providing heavily discounted public transport tickets.

This latest ‘free love’ initiative started in Barcelona, Spain in January. Promobilletes, the company behind the concept provides sponsors the chance to provide Metro commuters with tickets discounted by up to 50%.

Promobilletes claim their service is designed to “bring commuters respite from increasing ticket prices while giving advertisers an opportunity to generate considerable exposure and goodwill”.

Guillem Mateos, co-founder of Promobilletes told Spain’s ‘Economista’ the service, was a hit with sponsors and commuters within days of release.

“The idea is to create a system of co-payment cards whereby the private company pays part of the cost of the card in exchange for users who agree to receive advertising,” explains Mateos.

It’s an innovative concept, but it could easily be wasted and potenitally damaging for a brand’s reputation if used to spam people with empty promises and thoughtless communication.

For smart brand owners, the real opportunity is to provide personalised and targeted communication that is relevant, engaging and builds on the good will of the discounted tickets.

Done well, this could a truly valuable brand gesture that connects with your audience. It needs to be thought through to ensure it is appropriate for the brand, the audience and makes the most of the environment and timing.

Initially, there were some teething issues with the website crashing and controversy around the lack of administrative control on the distribution of tickets. However, this has apparently all been resolved and the system is back on track.

It’s still early days, but we could see this concept cropping up in cities everywhere soon.

Michael Hughes
Director of Brand Strategy

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