Background information on the development of the PSA. What background research was done? What was the creative strategy?
GMA News TV Channel 11, an offshoot station of GMA Channel 7, leverages on the award winning credibility of the network’s News and Public Affairs department to provide information and public service through its various programs. One of the main thrusts of the station is to host quality public service events to reach out to a new set of target consumers. In line with the theme Serbisyong Totoo or True Service, the strategy of this public service project entitled, Pasabay(Free Ride) is to provide Filipinos from different sectors free bus rides in designated areas around the Metro while providing a unique GMA News TV experience.
Substantial considerations on target audience, media outlets, timing. Who was the target audience? What media outlets were used? When was the PSA launched?
Our research showed us that pedestrians and commuters from lower income groups account for 75% of all trips in Metro Manila. 1 Commuters spend an average of 50-60 minutes per 1-way commute time. 2 This was deemed as potential new set of target consumers, out-of-home travelers who didn’t have immediate access to TV sets while on the road. This paved the way for us to launch our idea of having free bus rides on GMA News TV-themed buses with activities on board to reach out to this untapped commuter market.
First, GMA News TV bus riders were spared from paying their normal, daily commute fees because the ride was free. Second, the bus trip was made interactive and engaging as they were treated to a GMA News TV-filled experience: Passengers watched GMA News TV live while on board the bus. Special activities on the bus included hosts sharing GMA News TV-related trivia for a chance to win premium items. Lastly, the passengers were provided with free Wi-fi connection to be updated with the latest updates online. Our commuters were then given survey cards where they can share their feedback about the ride and share public service concerns, some of which were addressed in one of the station’s news program.
Sponsor Information. What were incentives for sponsors?
Our sponsors were given a host of values for sponsorship of Pasabay. On the bus during trips, sponsors were able to give away samples of their products to the commuters, to help strengthen the visibility of their brand. Products were also given as prizes for on-board games held within the bus.
Apart from sampling and prizes within the bus, sponsors also had strong visibility on-ground and on TV. Various posters, flyers and tarps featured all the sponsors’ logos, and these were seen within the different bus terminals, and distributed to passers-by in different malls.
On TV, GMA News TV had different plugs which also featured the sponsors’ logos prominently. Invite plugs to the event as well as post-event plugs which recapped all the activities on the bus had logos of the sponsors. Not only that, GMA News TV also created Solo plugs for all the sponsors. These plugs gave different commuting tips based on each sponsors’ equity, and were branded accordingly.
Impact. What was the audience reach? What correlations were visible?
The overwhelming participation and clamor for repeat from the target audience to the first GMA News TV Free Ride launched in July 2011, resulted in two more additional legs, one last December 2011 and another June this year. The second leg of the activation garnered a 20% increase of number of passengers from the first series and the latest leg garnered a 26% increase from the second. There was also positive feedback given through survey forms wherein 99% were happy with their experience and numerous positive comments such as “I love the bus” from participants via social media as well.
Effect. Data on social behavioral changes due to the PSA.
In 2011, Pasabay was still a new concept for commuters, and therefore they were slow to warm up and try taking the free bus rides for themselves. This can be seen in the week to week breakdown of the passengers in the first leg. However as weeks went on and more positive feedback was shared by commuters, riding Pasabay then became a habit for numerous commuters.
The first implementation of the project resulted to a clamor for additional legs on different routes. This continued for the 2nd leg of 2011, and the two legs of 2012. Thus far, Pasabay has experienced a consistent upswing of commuters week by week and in total.
Jamie D. Dio