Aishwarya Ramesh

redBus offers COVID-safe trips to employees returning to work city

redBus's latest ad campaign highlights the brand's Safety+ program, which includes precautions like regular bus disinfection, temperature checks, etc.

While India went under lockdown to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading, many employees returned to their hometowns, too. As the Indian economy enters phase 2 of 'unlock', redBus’ new ad looks at the story of a young woman, who's leaving home to return to her workplace.

The ad has been created by McCann WorldGroup and is a juxtaposition of a (then) young daughter asking her father not to leave for work, and the (now) aged father, being concerned about his daughter travelling to work in a different city.

The ad also emphasises on the brand's new initiative called redBus Safety+ program. As per the program, the buses will be sanitised regularly, masks and thermal checks made compulsory, and hand sanitisers will be available inside the vehicle.

A press note mentions that, as a brand, redBus felt that the best way to navigate through this crisis is to do whatever is in its power to enable safe travel on the journey towards normalcy.

Given that the Coronavirus continues to spread, despite lockdown measures, travelling and working in a different city can be a cause for concern, indeed. Sambit Mohanty, creative head (South), McCann, says that a journey isn’t always only about travelling between Point A and Point B – it almost always has an underlying purpose and emotion.

Sambit Mohanty
Sambit Mohanty

“redBus, as a brand, is all about enabling these journeys and human connections. We wanted to reassure bus travellers that redBus’s Safety+ program is in place to enable safe bus journeys, and the father-daughter story was used to convey the same,” he mentions.

Dileep Ashoka, EVP (South), McCann, explains that the agency has been in partnership with redBus for the last few years, and the upward trajectory of the journey has been broken for the first time with the onset of the pandemic.

“Being in the businesses of facilitating life’s journeys, and the custodian of the online bus ticketing category, we felt the imperative to comfort customers by making travel safe in these uncertain times. The story narrative seeks to demonstrate and reaffirm this,” says Ashoka.

Speaking on the launch of the campaign, Pallavi Chopra, vice president, brand, and head of marketing, redBus, said, “As an enabler of journeys, it has been our constant endeavour to help travellers reach their destinations in the safest and easiest way possible, especially in the present circumstances."

She adds that the COVID-19 pandemic has not only disrupted the business of establishments, but also the dreams and aspirations of millions of individuals out there, who are longing to travel in pursuit of their goals.

Pallavi Chopra
Pallavi Chopra

"We envisaged a subject or scenario that resonated with households across the country in order to shape the campaign. The result is a narrative around one of those important journeys in life, projected through the love and concern between a father and daughter, to drive home the message of #journeyfordreams,” says Chopra.

Talking about the script, director Puneet Prakash explains that what attracted him the most about the concept was the child’s innocence and the relatability of the story in these trying times. He adds that love and concern remain the same, but the roles of parents and kids change.

“This pandemic has made all of us realise how precious life is, and how important it is to keep our loved ones safe. I think just like this film, every family must have had a similar conversation in their houses. We wanted to portray a pan-India connect with this story,” Prakash says.


Agency: McCann, Bangalore

Chairman & CCO: Prasoon Joshi

Head of Creative: Ashish Chakravarty

Creative Head (South): Sambit Mohanty

Creative Team: Nilesh Kulkarni, Ajith Emmanuel, Unnikrishnan

RFilms: Crystal Carvalho

Account Management: Dileep Ashoka, Sonal Devraj, Ashwin Rasquinha, Rakaah Chatterjii, Rohith

Planning: Rasika Fernandes, Sai Karthik

Production House: Another Idea

Director: Puneet Prakash

Producer: Smaran Gandhi

redBus, Head of Marketing: Pallavi Chopra

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