Cannes Lions

The BVG Culture Ticket

GUD.BERLIN / BERLINER VERKEHRSBETRIEBE (BVG) / 2022

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Berlin, June 2021: more than a year of the pandemic had essentially brought the city to a standstill. The city’s cultural scene – the main reason why millions of tourists visit every year and more and more people decide to move here – was hit particularly hard. In short: the very thing that makes Berlin so special was under threat. As a fixture in the city – and essentially a chauffeur for all of these cultural institutions – BVG wanted to help.

The aim was to make a difference and spread hope. After over a year of lockdowns, BVG wanted to empower Berliners, giving them a chance to help bring their city back to life. And to spread the word, it needed a campaign that wouldn’t simply trot out the same tired message of “we’ll get through it together”, but would impart a sense of euphoria while also raising awareness.

Idea

The film is a symbolic journey through the bleakness of the pandemic towards the light at the end of the tunnel. It represents the beauty and emotion of a Saturday night in Berlin.

In addition to the visuals, the soundtrack is a key component. The Modeselektor track “Pulse” was remixed for the campaign, adding door closing beeps and ticket machine sounds. The sounds run through the entire track, culminating in an exhilarating house melody while also building a bridge between the public transport company and Berlin’s club scene.

To establish a visual connection between these two worlds, the stations and carriage were fitted with classic club lighting. This “colourful darkness” is an instantly recognisable symbol of Berlin nightlife. The hero shots of the artists are intentionally epic, illustrating the fighting spirit of Berlin’s cultural scene and lending an emotional aspect to what is essentially a mathematical problem: their financial hardship.

Strategy

Together, the campaign and the film had three main goals: to raise awareness about the desperate state of Berlin’s cultural scene, to raise spirits among the city’s residents, and to empower them to take action. For this reason, the target audience was the entire population of Berlin.

To raise sufficient awareness, the campaign was focused on the broad reach of social media. The organic reach of the 40-plus featured artists was already enormous. In addition, the atmosphere of the film and the soundtrack created the euphoric vibe required. And, thanks to the BVG Culture Ticket and the chance to make a donation, every single Berliner was empowered to support their city and its culture.

In line with the three main goals, the reach of the film and the campaign as well as the amount of donations were of key importance.

Execution

The campaign was designed to have an intense, short-term impact: for this reason, it ran for exactly 1.5 months – from 7 June to 18 July 2021. It kicked off when the film was released on YouTube and on social media. Berlin’s underground stations were subsequently branded with the campaign design. However, the campaign received the most attention on social media. BVG pushed it on its own social media channels, but the artists and creatives played a key role in the campaign’s success thanks to their reach.

Outcome

In a short time, the film amassed more than 4 million views on YouTube and over 100,000 on Facebook and Instagram. It got over 470,000 impressions on Twitter. In total, the campaign achieved a reach of 141 million solely via the press, which amounts to an advertising equivalent of EUR 2.74 million. And at the end of the campaign, BVG collected EUR 85,000 in donations. The reach exceeded all expectations and, even though the campaign could have generated a few more donations, the main objectives were achieved and it was able to raise a great deal of awareness.

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