The Department for Transport, UK has launched a wholesome new initiative aimed to improve the way commuters treat each other. The campaign, focused around the issues faced by disabled people, uses a series of colourful vignettes to remind commuters not to be animals, and treat their fellow human beings with patience and decency.
The campaign was created by VMLY&R in partnership with Nexus Studios’ Oscar-nominated directors Smith & Foulkes. Featuring mini narratives told through animated films, print, and radio, the stories illustrate the daily struggles faced by those who feel discouraged to use public transport due to how they are treated.
One story features a bull dressed as a city worker, carelessly knocking over a visually impaired man while entering a train carriage. Presented in this way, animals (in this case the bull) are visual hooks illustrating how such careless behaviour can undermine our humanity, suggesting unsavoury animalistic traits that we should all begin to take more notice of.
Whether it’s carelessness, rudeness, or plain not-knowing, these stories use a light-hearted tone to effectively present the social injustices that can leave disabled commuters feeling like public transport just isn’t for them. We sympathise with the wronged party, and resolve never to adopt similar attitudes to others in the future. To not ‘be a bull’.
The campaign, titled ‘Everyone’s Journey’ is part of the Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy, which involves a commitment to extending the Access for All programme with an additional £300 million, delivering improvements at a further 73 stations between 2019 and 20242. It also aims at raising awareness of non-visible impairments which affect 50% of disabled adults.
Andy Ravan, deputy director of marketing and digital campaigns for The Department for Transport, commented: “We want disabled people to travel from A to B easily. We know that there are a number of barriers which make this difficult every day. This campaign is one step in our journey of making transport more inclusive. We want to show that we can all play a part in making transport more inclusive.”
“With It’s Everyone’s Journey, we wanted to highlight that we often don’t realise the impact our behaviour has on other travellers and that a little effort can go a long way to making everyone’s journey better,” he added.
At SmartArt, we celebrate the power of digital art to present rich and poignant narratives to help change people’s behaviour. Animation offers huge potential for creatives to elicit an emotional response, and the decision to use these cartoon episodes for such an important message demonstrates the true power of digital art.
By Richard Oxley