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Promoting Stratford International’s newly expanded station

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Serco Docklands is the franchise operator of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), working to deliver a safe, reliable and cost-effective service for east London residents, commuters and visitors.

The £211 million Stratford International extension (SIE) carries local residents and people who connect at SIE from Kent and forms a key part of the London 2012 Olympic Games transport network, so timely and safe travel for the influx of visitors that are promised for this memorable event is paramount.

DLR asked Oculus to create a two-phase promotional campaign: phase one to create awareness of the new extension prior to its opening; phase two to encourage a diverse audience to use the new extension. As well as communicating to a potentially new audience, we had to overcome some potential challenges, such as project delays, leading to uncertainty over the extension opening date and moving deadlines until just one week before the launch.

The Oculus creative team focused on ‘connecting’ passengers, using a ‘thought bubbles’ concept with icons representing the range of possibilities that local residents and passengers from Kent would now be able to connect to.

Once the messaging had been tested with internal stakeholders, Oculus set about finalising the creative for the two phases. The campaign was rolled out via the local and Kent press, on local radio and via door drops, as well as on station platforms, BT booths and bus supersides.

Within three weeks, awareness of the campaign was at 75% for commuters and 69% for local residents. Within the first two months, passenger numbers exceeded expectations, with over one million journeys made on the new extension.

The Now Open posters look great in situ and I’m looking forward to the whole campaign go live. Well done and please pass on my sincere thanks to your team at Oculus.