Genesis intros bus wrap domination for Altamira

When the media budget didn't stretch to matching what the competition was splashing around, a new way of making the creative really pop was found. It proved to be so successful that the outdoor partner has added a new option to its rate card.

When the budget is tight, innovate. That’s what Toronto’s Genesis Media did for its client Altamira Financial Services after Toronto’s Yield agency ‘hit the market in a strong way with brilliant creative,’ Azim Alibhai, group director at Toronto’s Genesis Media tells MiC. The problem, he adds, was that ‘our media budget was really limited.’

So he and colleague Jennifer Yang, senior media planner/buyer, hit on something Alibhai says has been tried in a few other markets so far, but not in the Toronto area – bus domination with what are known as headliners. ‘The standard pattern is to have your message on the side panels of buses,’ he explains. ‘But headliners actually sit at the very top of the bus and go the full length of the sides.’

The Genesis team approached Viacom/CBS outdoor, which agreed to give the headliners a whirl on about 300 civic transit buses in Toronto and Vancouver, as well as Thornhill and London, Ont.

The initiative, which began on Jan. 29 and will continue through February, was unusual enough to draw positive stories in the National Post and Toronto Star, says Alibhai. ‘And Viacom/CBS loves it so much they’re adding a headliner option to their rate card.’

Emphasizing Altamira’s core message – the importance of sound retirement planning – the headliners complement side panel creative on the buses. It features dismayed-looking seniors wearing fast-food uniforms with the tagline: ‘You didn’t work this hard to end up in your first job.’

‘The real story here,’ Alibhai concludes, ‘is that, working in tandem with our creative partner – which brought a strong creative concept – we came up with something that really popped, despite our limited budget.’