Introduction Stichting BUS: Creation of a Marketing Campaign (I): 1

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1 Application for the 'IRU Coach Tourism Innovation Award' from Stichting BUS concerning the campaign 'De bus krijgt steeds meer fans' (The coach gets more and more fans). Introduction Stichting BUS: Stichting BUS (The Coach Foundation) is a foundation founded by: KNV Bus (Royal Dutch Transport, coach sector); RAI Vereniging, afdeling bijzondere voertuigen (Dutch Automotive Industry, section special vehicles); ANVR (Dutch Touroperators Organization); FNV & CNV (Dutch Labour Unions, representing the coach drivers). Stichting BUS was founded in 1998 and aims to improve the coach transport safety and promotion of the coach industry's image. Stichting BUS is publisher of a very popular quarterly magazine 'Tour Magazine' (6800 copies) and develops en distributes safety products, such as Safety Cards, safety instructions movie (DVD), Crisis Management System etcetera to be used by all Dutch coach companies. Stichting BUS is also spokesman for the Dutch Coach Industry in case of accidents. Creation of a Marketing Campaign (I): In the summer of 2011 KNV Bus asked Stichting BUS to prepare a marketing campaign for the further promotion of coach travel in the Netherlands. A committee from Stichting BUS made an analysis of the coach market with the following major conclusions and campaign targets: - The campaign covers 'travelling by luxury coach, both daytrips and coach holidays, with the holiday experience as primary reason for travelling'; - Competition for coach travel comes mainly from car, train and airplane. With the exception of the aspect of travel speed, coach travel has an advantage on the competition on the aspects of environment, flexibility, costs, comfort and social contacts; - Senior citizens are an important customer group, which will grow anyway due to the ageing population; - The campaign targets an extra growth of coach travel (day trips and coach holidays) by senior citizens; - The campaign wants to promote the use of coach travel by special interest groups (bird watchers, Grand Prix enthusiasts, soccer clubs, fans of Bruce Springsteen or Andre Rieu etcetera); 1

2 (Creation of a Marketing Campaign, II): - The campaign wants to promote the use of coach travel by people in the age group of (most passengers nowadays are either youngsters or senior citizens) - The campaign wants to improve the general image of coach travelling - The campaign wants to promote the popularity of the jobs of coach drivers (the average age of the coach drivers population is 55 +, so in a few years time there will be many jobs available that need to be filled) - The campaign wants to improve the image of the industry (relations between employers and employees, and between younger and older employees) Pitch for an advertisement company: After the committee finished her preliminary work, a pitch was organized to select an advertisement company. This pitch was won by VosLibert from Leeuwarden. VosLibert developed a marketing campaign in cooperation with the committee and extra representatives from coach companies. The campaign was accepted by the General Assembly from KNV Bus in the early spring of Preparations for the real campaign started soon after. The campaign will last for three years ( ). Finances, : - The development costs (pitch etcetera), 30,000, were paid by KNV Bus, ANVR and RAI Vereniging; - 1,000,000 was donated to the campaign by KNV Bus & FNV & CNV from the bank reserves of the FSO (Fonds voor Scholing en Ontwikkeling, The social and educational fund for the coach industry); - FSO has pledged an additional 240,000 for the employment of 1,5 consultants for the duration of the campaign. The consultants will work on the image of the industry and job promotion; - The ANVR (several participating coach tour operators) have pledged coach holidays worth 45,000 to be used as prizes and incentives for the campaign; - The RAI Vereniging has pledged 165,000 to cover 11 coaches completely in campaign colours and has offered a rear window sticker for every new coach to be delivered during the first part of the campaign; - SKTB (Stichting Keurmerk Touringcarbedrijf, Dutch Coach Marque Foundation) has pledged to promote the campaign with supportive advertisements, participation in fairs etc (pro memory). - Total investment in the campaign amounts to approximately 1,500,000. 2

3 Campaign activities: The marketing campaign 'De bus krijgt steeds meer fans' consists of a large number of activities. Only the most important activities will be introduced in this application form. (Extra information is available. Unfortunately only in Dutch) TV Commercial: A TV-commercial (20-25 seconds) was made to introduce the campaign coach and to promote travelling by coach. Three kinds of coach travel were pictured: young people travelling from a Dance Party; a wedding party; and holiday makers on a coach / bicycle trip. A number of 'tag-ons' was made for coach driver job promotion. In 2012 three flights of commercials (one month each) were aired. According to our Media desk the commercial was well received and was well liked. You can find the commercial on You Tube: You may kiss the bride Keeping an eye 3

4 Campaign coaches: In cooperation with RAI Vereniging eleven new/young coaches were completely covered in foil. These coaches are called the 'campaign coaches' and will be used until the end of coach companies from different parts of the Netherlands have volunteered one of their newest coaches (almost all of them Euro V). These coaches are deployed in the Netherlands and abroad. Coach of South West Tours The RAI Vereniging has also offered a rear window sticker for every new coach being delivered during the first part of the campaign. At the moment coaches have received a rear window sticker. Rear window & fans These coaches (completely covered and rear windows) represent a free advertisement value of more than 1,000,000 Euros! 4

5 Facebook application & Turn up the beach: To reach young people and to promote the organization of coach trips by special interest groups a special Facebook app was created. This app made it possible for individuals to organize a coach trip (for example to a festival) and invite his Facebook friends (and their friends...) to participate. As soon as a minimum number of passengers was reached, the initiator could select a coach company. Coach companies could also initiate coach trips. The Facebook app was supported by banners on You Tube and Google. For the coach companies special social media seminars were organised to introduce them to Facebook, Twitter etcetera. The launch of the Facebook app was in cooperation with Radio 538 (a popular radio station for young people). Radio 538 is the organizer of an annual dance Party (Turn up the beach). In 2012 Stichting BUS was co-sponsor and the listeners could organize their own coach trip to 'Turn up the beach'. Over 230 listeners (with many friends) participated in this contest. The winner and his friends were driven to the festival by luxury coach with a famous DJ on board. The event was broadcast on radio and on internet tv. Even though the introduction was a success, the Facebook app failed: most coach companies are not active on Facebook and Twitter. This part of the campaign has been terminated (active Facebook app). Facebook Radio 538 The winner and his friends 5

6 Senior citizens (I): To stimulate coach travelling by senior citizens, several activities were planned. In cooperation with Margriet (the largest weekly magazine for Dutch women older than 35, published by Sanoma) a contest was organised. Readers could nominate families, who should deserve a family trip (12 persons) with a luxury coach. The proposals, with motivation, were judged by VosLibert and Samona and the three best nominations were put to the vote to all readers of Margriet. This contest was promoted in print and online ( and supported with 'feel good' stories online. The prize winner was announced during the Margriet Winter Fair. Happy prize winners 6

7 Senior citizens (II): Every second week of September the '50 plus Fair' is organised in Utrecht. This is the greatest Fair for senior citizens in Europe, with over 60,000 visitors. One of the big halls is reserved for holiday promoters. In 2012 SKTB was a participant of this Fair and used a campaign coach as stand. Every day a number of games were organised in the coach with beautiful coach trips as prizes. Many visitors took part in these games and many more admired the luxury coach. A coach is a real eye catcher! Happy prize winners 7

8 Toolbox for companies: Even though a budget of 1, Euros sounds impressive, it is important that the Dutch coach companies, coach industry and coach touroperators participate in the campaign. To make this possible a number of tools was developed for the companies: for example downloads (logos and other graphics). (Take a look at for an overview). There is also a webshop with a number of campaign products, such as stickers, pens, caps, scale models, garbage bags, coffee cups etc. Webshop with campaign products 8

9 NOT Fair: Schools are very important customers for coach companies. It is very important to make a good impression on young people: 'Catch them while they are young'. For this reason SKTB advertises in a number of 'school trip magazines'. Every second year a large Fair (Nederlandse Onderwijs Tentoonsteling, NOT) is organised for teachers and board members of all categories of schools (Kindergarten to University College). This fair is visited by over 30,000 school professionals. On this fair SKTB, in cooperation with the campaign, had a big stand with a completely covered coach. During this fair and also by special delivery to all grammar schools, over 15,000 prints with model coaches were distributed by SKTB. 9

10 Contacts with coach companies and coach drivers: To communicate with coach companies and coach drivers, the campaign team uses both Tour Magazine (articles about the campaign and advertisements for the webshop etcetera) and a special digital newsletter. Tour Magazine and the newsletters are sent to all Dutch coach companies (with copies to their employees) who are interested in the campaign. 10

11 . Campaign results: At this moment it is difficult to measure the campaign results. The TV-commercial, Radio 538 and other activities have made the general public aware of our campaign. We are on target to reach > 80% recognition in three years time. Final conclusions can only be drawn after three years of campaigning at the end of The campaign is not executed by one company or one tour operator, but by the whole coach industry. This scale makes it impossible to measure the campaign results in overall increases in coach trips. A further complication is formed by the economic crisis: perhaps the decrease in coach trips is diminished by the campaign... For more information: For more information, (campaign reports 2012 from VosLibert, only available in Dutch) please contact Nico Zethof, manager Stichting BUS,

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