Buzzword branding

05.04.2017 Automotive : Advertising : The Sharing Economy
Bus Words by Västtrafik and Forsman & Bodenfors, Sweden

Sweden – A campaign by public transport company Västtrafik uses automotive advertising clichés to examine the future of mobility.

  • The campaign aims to encourage more car users to use public transport
  • The ad uses buzzwords typically associated with the car industry to describe a regular city bus

Bus Words appears at first to be a typical car ad complete with futuristic imagery, dramatic music and industry buzzwords such as ‘electrified’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘vehicle sharing’. However, in a comical twist, the vehicle being described is revealed to be a regular city bus.

The campaign was developed by Gothenburg-based agency Forsman & Bodenfors in response to the rise of the self-driving car market and the trend among automotive brands to claim to offer the future of mobility. It playfully highlights the similarities between the lauded innovations of modern car-makers and the features of a regular city bus, which has been in use for more than 100 years.

‘The car industry is going crazy about the future right now, but almost all of the industry buzzwords apply perfectly to a regular city bus,’ Pontus Caresten, copywriter at Forsman & Bodenfors, told LS:N Global. ‘More people alone in their cars is not what our cities need. They need more people riding together on public transport.’

The Big Picture

Brands such as Västtrafik and Coop are highlighting the viability of long-standing business models to challenge the marketing hyperbole of future-facing campaigns.

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