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redBus’ festive campaign calls out the ‘natak’ while booking offline bus tickets

It portrays the hardships associated with non-digital methods and urges travellers to try redBus.

Festivals are not just about traditions, food and festive clothes. It is also a time for travel. For those away from home, it is a time to travel back to celebrate the festival with those who make it the most memorable. For those who have been waiting for a holiday, it is a time to make the most of the long weekend. And then there are those who just don’t need a reason to travel. To make the most of this key travel season, redBus has launched two 30-second ad films as part of a month-long campaign. It highlights the benefits of booking on the online bus ticketing platform in contrast to offline methods.

With Covid19 cases reducing and the vaccination rates increasing across the country, domestic travel is expected to witness a boom this festive season. With festivals like Durga Ashtami, Dussehra, Eid, and Diwali, millions of people are expected to travel home.

Prakash Sangam, CEO, redBus, said, “With inter-city bus travel getting back on track with each passing day, the upcoming festive season will be a catalyst for greater recovery and return to normalcy, making this a very crucial phase for the sector. While online booking of seats has witnessed widespread acceptance over the last 18 months for the convenience and benefits it offers, we are looking at inculcating this habit among a significant base of travelers who use traditional offline methods of ticket booking. Our campaign, therefore, portrays the hardships associated with non-digital methods aptly, to urge them to try redBus.”

In order to capitalise and cater to the higher intent for travel during this period, redBus has developed this ad campaign, giving a strong build-up to aspects such as traveler comfort and convenience, made possible by using redBus’ online platforms for bus ticket booking. Accordingly, the campaign calls out the ‘Natak’ or the dramatic battles travelers endure when trying to get a seat using traditional offline methods. Conceptualised by McCann Bangalore, the first of the two commercials has just been launched, with the second one to be released a couple of weeks later.

Dileep Ashoka, EVP, McCann South, said, “The problem of booking a bus ticket at the retail counter and the anxiety to get the seat of one’s choice is nothing short of a drama. To show the plight of a pain-conditioned traveler, we chose tableaux as a treatment and demonstrated the pain in a theatrical manner. The lyrics and music further amplify this, thus making for an entertaining and memorable piece of communication.”

In the first ad film, viewers witness a metaphorical theatre setting with a stage, ready to begin the play titled, ‘Hot seat ka natak’ and soon enough there appears a bus in tableau style, as the curtain draws. The sight inside the bus is nothing short of a battle zone as passengers race to grab a seat. The focus then shifts to a person who is an audience in the theatre, seated comfortably and amused by the scene at play, exclaiming sarcastically, ‘Apni manpasand bus seat paane ke liye itna naatak’ and suggests downloading the redBus app to avoid this drama while booking a seat and enjoying a comfortable journey.

The second ad film due to go live a couple of weeks later is set in a similar scenery, except that this time it focuses on the frustrations associated with queuing up before a ticketing counter, especially where unruly travelers try to outmaneuver people in the line ahead of them for a ticket. The worst nightmare comes true when the ticketing counter shuts after selling out all tickets, leaving behind a dejected lot, who after waiting impatiently in queue, have to scramble for other options. The same person in the audience once again exclaims sarcastically, ‘Ek state transport bus ticket paane ke liye itna naatak’ and suggests downloading the redBus app to avoid this drama while booking a seat and enjoying a comfortable journey in an RTC bus.

Pallavi Chopra, Sr Vice President, Brand, and Head of Marketing, redBus, “Our brand campaign makes metaphorical illustrations of the struggles of bus travelers in reference to traditional or offline methods of seat booking, depicting it as a drama to demonstrate the benefits of booking online on redBus. As such, it resonates well with the populace that will relate to it readily and appreciate our proposition. The messaging is simple and straightforward and compares the drama of offline vs online, to help achieve high recall and make us the platform of choice for travelers looking forward to visiting and spending festive occasions with their families.”

redBus is focusing on a combination of electronic and digital mediums to take the campaign to the homes and mobile devices of millions of people across the country. Accordingly, the ad films will appear on national and regional TV channels & Social media platforms, till the end of the festive season around Diwali.

The upcoming festival of Dussehra has already begun witnessing higher demand in bus ticket bookings, with the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi, leading the nation in bookings.