Giving College Students a 90-Minute Hall Pass
90 Minutes for Whatever
College is exhausting. Rarely do you have time to put your feet up, your headphones on and just daydream. Enter Amtrak Hiawatha. It’s not just a way to get to Chicago or Milwaukee without sitting in soul-crushing traffic. It’s 90 minutes for you to do you.
YOY increase in discount
surpassed revenue goal
three times over
The Big Idea
Amtrak Hiawatha has seen years of continued ridership growth among the core target audiences of business travelers and weekenders in the Chicago and Milwaukee metros. In contrast, area riders in the college students segment sorely lagged behind the national average. Our charge was to grow Amtrak Hiawatha ridership among college students living in the two metros.
The reality of stressed-out students
College students need an occasional mental break from the pressure of finding the right friend group, the pressure to achieve academically, the pressure of maintaining their personal brand on social media, the pressure of missing out on things because of all the things they’re juggling and often the pressure to just fit in.
Tapping into the college student’s need for downtime
Designed to feel like living, breathing sculptures, we created posters that playfully highlighted how Amtrak Hiawatha provides college students some much-needed ‘me-time’ for a good 90 minutes between the two cities. To get said students to stop and absorb our message, we placed posters on Milwaukee campus bus shelters to show them – in aggressive detail – exactly what they’re missing.
Why it Worked
We knew we had to cut through the campus clutter and raise a few eyebrows. We knew we had to cut through the campus clutter and raise a few eyebrows. So how do you get busy college students to look at something not on their phone? By putting a mirror up to their deepest desire: free time. Whether that means binge eating crackers with a side of spray-can cheese or panic studying 100-flash cards on Napolean Bonaparte – it’s 90 precious minutes to do whatever your heart desires.
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