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UITP Marketing Awards: Public Transport as Part of Modern Urban Lifestyle

De Lijn TV Spot from Desire Dupas on Vimeo. The message reads: “It’s smarter to travel in groups. Take the bus.”

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP), a global advocate in promoting public transportation, is accepting entries for its 5th Annual UITP International Marketing Awards until April 15. It is the only international competition that rewards commercial and printed campaigns from the public transport sector.

The Marketing Awards are a part of UITP’s International Marketing Conference that will be held in Venice, Italy in November 2011. The conference is a time to provide organizations with marketing strategies to help them successfully compete against car culture, increase profits and boost ridership.

“Our society is continually changing as citizens’ attitudes towards mobility, services and brands evolve. The challenge of marketing in public transport is to deliver high-quality and cost-efficient services, as well as creating added value to respond to the evolving needs and new lifestyles,” says Susana Palomino, chairman of UITP’s Marketing and Product Development Commission. “We need to be the first mobility choice in the citizens’ mind.”

According to Palomino, mobility and behavior change, when it comes to public transport, require the right mix of tailored marketing tools, focused on the individual needs, expectations and resources. In order to increase demand for public transport, UITP presents organizations with a comprehensive overview of successful practices and techniques, mostly aimed at changing attitudes on public transit to influence performance, and, hopefully, demand.

“With speakers from across the world, we are able to create a panel of practical experiments which we have carefully selected according to four principles,” Palomino says. The four principles are 1) unique presentations, 2) information on results, 3) tested practical cases and 4) plurality. “With participants from across the world we have the opportunity to create a unique platform of exchange,” she adds.

With more than 4,800 online votes, De Lijn, the company that runs Belgium’s public transport system, won the 4th Annual UITP International Marketing Awards in 2009 with its “Penguins and Fireflies” commercial campaign. The title for Best Printed Campaign that same year went to Singapore’s “Escape with SMRT” campaign, which gave commuters and shoppers the opportunity to win attractive prizes, including exotic holiday packages to Egypt and Cambodia.

Although the annual marketing competition is exclusive to UITP members, the general public can vote online to support their favorite public transport campaign. According to the Marketing Award’s official website, “The objective is to highlight creativity and ensure that users themselves feel a sense of pride when using it.”

To learn more about the previous participants of IUTP’s International Marketing Awards, click here.

De Lijn: fireflies from somethingdigital on Vimeo.

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