Rediscovering the joys of cycling.

After a decade in operation, many Londoners had lost interest in the city’s once-famous cycle hire scheme. Santander Cycles wasn’t seen as new or different anymore. Many people simply saw the bikes as ‘part of the furniture’ in the capital.  

Our challenge was to generate renewed excitement around Santander Cycles. We had to get lapsed users back onto the bikes and encourage first-timers to give them a try.  

We wanted people to rediscover the benefits of Santander Cycles – but also London itself. After all, the bikes are a means of accessing all the wonderful sights and hidden corners of this amazing city. This led to our campaign line: ‘Grab life by the handlebars’.  

The positivity of our message informed the campaign creative, which involved using intricate papercraft sets to recreate 10 iconic London locations. From the famous sights of Westminster to the colourful shopfronts of Portobello Road, these visuals created a vibrant and unique representation of London – reminding people of all the gems they could rediscover with Santander Cycles.   

The campaign ran across digital, social and out of home, with dynamic displays that used media triggers such as time of day and day of week to deliver contextualised messages.   

Results show that over the 11-week campaign period, the campaign reached 87% of its target audience (active London urbanites) at least eight times, resulting in 47 million impressions. This was a 3-4% over-delivery on the campaign’s target.   

The campaign was also successful at driving recognition and affinity for Santander Cycles across a range of key descriptive attributes, which helped to contribute towards a 24% rise in daily app downloads year-on-year and 6% growth in cycle hires through the app. 

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