Chicago’s Metra announced the start of a new advertising and marketing campaign aimed at getting more Chicago area commuters out of their cars and onto the train. The new campaign, “Metra Moves Me” features bold headlines including “Avoiding traffic is awesome” and “I’m giving my brakes a break,” combined with powerfully expressive faces.
The campaign is designed to evoke an emotional response from prospective customers and, ultimately, get them to consider the stress-relief advantages of riding Metra versus the frustrations of driving their car to work.
“With average gas prices at near historic lows, Metra is reminding potential customers that there is no price tag for peace of mind and the value of personal time,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “We realize that drivers dealing with traffic, congestion, and the challenges of trying to be on time are carrying tremendous amounts of stress, on their way to work and on their way back home. Our campaign aims to contrast those feelings with the ones of our on-time, relaxed customers riding Metra.”
Metra recently completed a customer segmentation study that identified five groups of non-riders who have different reasons for choosing other transportation options. Two of those groups, representing about 36% of the non-rider market base, had a very positive feeling about Metra and highly valued the consumer benefits of Metra service as a real improvement to their lives and their daily commutes in particular. The study informed Metra’s marketing and communications campaign to reach those groups on the benefits of riding the train.
Members of those groups are most likely to drive downtown to work, feel their car is more comfortable than riding Metra and have an unrealistically low estimate of the agency’s on-time performance record.
The study indicated that a key emotional driver for those groups is that Metra is “a great way to avoid the hassle of driving.” Other key drivers are related to the courtesy of station personnel, safety of the train, and ability to relax at boarding stations. The new campaign, tested in focus groups, seeks to validate and leverage these findings to ensure that its messaging resonates with the target groups identified in the customer segmentation study. Metra will also be conducting a pre- and post-tracking study to evaluate the impact of the new advertising campaign.
In the weeks to come, Metra Moves Me advertisements will be placed on radio, traffic sponsorships on television morning news, billboards, at gas stations, shopping malls, digital news outlets, and social media. In July, the Metra Moves Me campaign will focus on attracting recreational riders before transitioning back to commuter-focused ads after Labor Day.
Ultimately, the campaign is devoted to engaging potential customers to maximize the benefits that Metra brings to the region, the communities it serves, and those who are tired of enduring the hardships of driving in today’s traffic. The campaign was developed by Pulsar Advertising, Metra’s advertising agency of record.