Online bus ticketing company redBus has launched an integrated campaign to drive home the benefits of its platform such as ease and transparency. This was brought out through a film featuring the character Bang Toyib from a popular song in 2005, where the singer laments the absence of her husband over three consecutive Lebarans. Joining in parodies that have been made over the years, redBus’ film “Bang Toyib Returns” rides on the spirit of Mudik to tell the story of what has been keeping the character away from his family.
In the two-minute film, Bang Toyib tells his tale of his troubles in a television interview, citing reasons such as crowded offline ticket counter, being duped by a fraudster who sells a fake ticket, or for multiple bookings for the same seat. However, he was united with his family when the redBus app appears out of the blue as a solution.
Conceptualised around the concept of Mudik, the common practice of returning home for Lebaran from the larger cities, the campaign aims to highlight redBus as an enabler for people to travel home and enjoy the festival with their families.
The company set out with an aim to tap into local nuances, culture, folklore and icons that Indonesians identify with. RedBus vice president – marketing Pallavi Chopra explained, “The more redBus spreads its services globally, the more we want the brand to have local relevance. Because at the end of the day, our business is all about solving problems that are unique to each market we are present in with the objective of making local inter-city travel on short and long-haul routes convenient.”
The campaign, which was launched on below-the-line, social media, and digital channels, has drawn in 10 million views for the film on YouTube within a month. The move has also helped redBus meet its brand awareness, bookings, direct traffic and app installs objectives, said Danan Christadoss, the country head for redBus Indonesia.
“Over time, Bang Toyib became the metaphor for people missing from family. He is now synonymous with Ramadan. He is to Ramadan what Santa Claus is to Christmas. However, no one knows why Bang Toyib couldn’t go home. So we gave him a face, a persona, and let people hear his side of the story,” said Dami Sidharta, founding partner and ECD of M&C Saatchi Indonesia, the creators of the campaign.
Commenting on the creative process, founder and president director M&C Saatchi Indonesia Anish Daryani said the biggest challenge lies in sparking behavioural change. The agency had to find local insights to challenge the current behaviour and promote booking through redBus as the new behavior towards planning inter-city bus or shuttle trips. Bang Toyib was eventually chosen as a device to drive home the message with a touch of humour. “And in doing so, educate people of ‘Pasti‘ or ‘certainty’ of travel among other benefits of redBus that makes it a utility that positively impacts their lives,” added Daryani.
The agency was selected to handle integrated communication duties in April this year following a multi-agency pitch. The scope includes above-the-line, below-the-line, digital advertising and content. M&C Saatchi Indonesia is working to communicate redBus as a solution for bus travellers“in a culturally relevant but cool way and make a connection with Indonesians at large.