The commuter challenge

NSB is a state-owned railroad company, which operates the train traffic in Norway. An important passenger group is commuters. Every day 100.000 people use the train to get to work and home again. If they had done like many others and chosen the car, there would be complete chaos on the roads leading in and out of the largest cities in Norway. Those who commute by train contributes to streamlining society, and in 2017 and 2018 NSB ran commercials in paid commercials, where they thanked the commuters.

In addition, they wanted to do something which showcased the individual commuters to a larger degree, while at the same time inspire some commuters by car to switch to train.

The insights we based our campaign on is strikingly simple: Reality beats fiction, and nothing conveys the truth like the unvarnished reality. The idea was to let those who commute by train and car swap places for a week. People who exclusively commute by car had to get to work by train, and train enthusiasts had to get behind the wheel and drive to work. Everything was documented. Nothing was censored.

We found potential candidates in social media; two car commuters and two train commuters. They switched means of transportation for a week, and we tagged along on their journey. The result was four films which provided an unvarnished perspective on the pros and cons with both train and car. The films were shared in social media, and invited everyone else to share their views and opinions on the different methods.

The campaign scored high on engagement, with 1.250.000 individual engagement actions during a short campaign period. The fact that NSB let the passenger share both pleasures and frustrations, without censoring, was particularly well received and commented on.