Wholesome animations remind commuters not to be animals

It's Everyone's Journey, remember?

Commuting is already a nightmare in Britain – but imagine doing it as a disabled person.

Disabled people travel up to a third less in the UK, and one in four say negative attitudes from other passengers prevent them from using public transport. This represents millions of people who feel they can’t get around, which has an impact on access to employment, healthcare, education and social activities.

To raise awareness of this insight, the Department for Transport has launched It’s Everyone’s Journey, a campaign created by VMLY&R in partnership with Nexus Studios’ Oscar-nominated directors Smith & Foulkes. Composed of a series of charming animated films, prints and radio., they depict multiple journeys across train and bus networks, promoting more inclusive transport behaviours.

To convey a sensitive and serious message with a light-hearted tone, the campaign uses animal characters as visual metaphors to highlight how people’s behaviour can change when taking public transport. The soundtrack, an original song by Siren Factory, suggests it only takes a little effort to make the public transport environment a better place for everyone.

Says director Alan Smith (Smith & Foulkes) at Nexus Studios: "In these recognisable and personal human stories we aimed to create a memorable visual metaphor. Using animal behaviour to portray our thoughtless public transport behaviour immediately resonates, and shines a revealing light onto our bad habits.

"These films are not crazy cartoon animal capers, there is no shouting or screaming, no chaos on the streets. They are observational and intimate moments of human anxiety and unease. We can all occasionally be inconsiderate to our fellow travellers, but by respecting other people we can remember what it is to be human."

Andy Ravan, deputy director of marketing and digital campaigns for The Department for Transport, commented: “We want disabled people to travel from A to B easily. We know that there are a number of barriers which make this difficult every day. This campaign is one step in our journey of making transport more inclusive. We want to show that we can all play a part in making transport more inclusive.”

Mark Roalfe, Chairman, VMLY&R UK, adds: “With It’s Everyone’s Journey, we wanted to highlight that we often don’t realise the impact our behaviour has on other travellers and that a little effort can go a long way to making everyone’s journey better.”

It’s Everyone’s Journey is part of the Government’s Inclusive Transport Strategy, which included a commitment to extending the Access for All programme with an additional £300 million, delivering improvements at a further 73 stations between 2019 and 20242. It also aims at raising awareness of non-visible impairments which affect 50% of disabled adults.

The campaign is supported by an integrated media plan by Manning Gottlieb and Wavemaker. It will run on VoD, OOH, radio, online and social.

Behaviour change agency 23red have also built a coalition of supportive partners and delivered bespoke activations, enabling them to deliver behavioural prompts throughout passengers’ journeys.

Watch the commercials on the Nexus site, where you can also see dev work by Smith & Foulkes.

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