Taylor Herring’s campaign was well-thought-out and they clearly ‘owned’ the subject, rather than just treating it as another piece of PR. Their research showed that, on numerous occasions, cabbies have been called on to take people to hospital, deliver babies and even help out during terrorist attacks. Black cabs face numerous challenges, particularly from low-cost providers, so it is vital that they have a distinct USP, and now they have one, thanks to the introduction of the Knowledge+ course Taylor Herring devised. Now, as a result, many more cabbies have first aid training, which is vital for the well-being of Londoners, and the campaign has longevity that can roll out to other cities in the UK.

Mark of Excellence:

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Winner entry:

Brief and objectives:

We were briefed to create a PR campaign with would clearly differentiate the mytaxi offering from its competitors. Driving brand fame and awareness for mytaxi in a way which would impact the bottom line was key. Success would be measured against increase app downloads and passenger bookings in the lead up to Christmas which was a vital trading period for the company. The creative needed to resonate with an affluent ABC1+ London demographic who regularly use black cabs in the City and, ideally provide the foundations for a longer tail campaign which would ensure that London cabbies will be the go-to choice for years to come.

Rationale behind campaign, including research and planning:

We started with a simple question: ‘How do you differentiate between a black cab app offering and rival services such as Uber and Lyft when price is a key consideration?’

Our answer focused on highlighting the differences in quality of service by reminding consumers that London’s black cab drivers are the safest and most highly trained professional drivers in the word today.

Strategy and tactics, including creativity and innovation:

The creative was simple; create a brand new driver course which would build upon ‘The Knowledge’ to communicate our key service and safety messaging. The course would equip thousands of London black cab drivers with a series of essential new skills – essentially turning cabbies into potential life savers.Our idea was rooted in original research and insight. A series of driver focus group sessions revealed that London cab drivers often found themselves on the position of being ‘first responders’ in emergency situations. We tested these insights by surveying a broader (1,500) sample of mytaxi’s 17,500 drivers and the results were conclusive. Over half of the respondents had been booked as an alternative to an ambulance in an emergency situation, whilst more than two-thirds had made emergency trips to hospitals for passengers with serious medical issues. A quarter of drivers said they had come to the aid of the public in a terrorist attack and half had been verbally or physically threatened by a passenger. These insights gave birth to the Knowledge +, a new voluntary driver training course that
would have input from health, crisis and body language experts, with the ambition of becoming an industry benchmark for training excellence.

The creative was designed to re-affirm to our target audience that London cab drives (via mytaxi) provide the safest and most efficient taxi service in the world today.

Implementation of tactics:

We created the pioneering programme in tandem with experts from the fields of health, security and psychology.

Key partnerships were negotiated with St John Ambulance, the Former Head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office Chris Phillips and cognitive psychologist and cognitive therapist Dr Becky Spelman to deliver the new programme. The experts were engaged to design both interactive training sessions and online tutorials, which could be accessed by drivers at home or during their lunch break.

Once our programme was in place we created a mytaxi campaign manifesto to explain the initiative to both drivers and public alike. The document distilled our research findings via info graphics and video content– making the case for enhanced training whilst explaining the current programme and signposting further resources and training in in 2018.

The manifesto worked alongside a short animated video we created which distilled the project and the rationale behind it into 60 seconds of shareable content.

The week before launch we fitted our first 10 black cabs with defibrillators as part of the initiative added the first 100 on board first aid kits (and first aid decals) to the fleet.

We launched The Knowledge+ via a news announcement accompanied with pictures and our content in mid- November 2017.

Case studies of mytaxi drivers who had experienced women giving birth in cabs, or coming to the aid of stroke and heart attack victims, were interviewed by the national media, highlighting the issue at hand.

Measurement and evaluation:

The campaign delivered a world-first taxi driver training course which saw first aid kits being fitted in black cabs as standard for the very first time. Results included worldwide
media coverage and key hits across key London press including ITV London Tonight, BBC Breakfast, LBC, BBC London Radio, Metro and Evening Standard. Business results were outstanding; 7.5% uplift in taxi bookings during the campaign period and 16.5% increase in app downloads delivering the biggest spike of 2017. The company also saw an 8.5% rise in driver registrations equating to 1,487 new drivers. The overall mytaxi London business grew 101% year-on-year in November 2017.

Every national news outlet ran the story on the day of launch, with lead broadcast segments on London and national TV channels and radio stations.

  • 16.5% increase in app downloads & 7.5% uplift in taxi bookings week-on-week as a result of campaign
  • The overall mytaxi London business grew 101% year-on-year in November
  • 200 + media articles secured worldwide (168 in the UK), including Evening Standard, City AM, Metro, TimeOut, The Times, Telegraph, Mail Online, Mirror and The Sun.
  • 90% of articles embedded the campaign video with deeper brand messaging
  • 13 broadcast pieces including key targets: ITV London Tonight, BBC Breakfast, LBC and BBC London Radio.
  • 77m+ opportunities to see
  • 1,487 new drivers registered to mytaxi an 8.5% uplift in driver sign-ups during the campaign period

“A brilliant PR campaign to launch a truly innovative programme, which builds upon the superior service London’s black cab drivers offer. The PR activity communicated our key messages around safety and efficiency, and tackles the ever changing and complex world we live in where black cab drivers are increasingly finding themselves on the frontline of city life. Marginal
gains are everything in this industry and the performance of the campaign really moved the dial for our business. The Knowledge+ stands mytaxi apart from its competitors and has been incredibly well received by the media, public and of course our 17,500 drivers.” – Andy Batty, General Manger, mytaxi

Budget and cost effectiveness:

Budget: 45k

Cost effectiveness: The campaign was incredibly costs effective, the budget covered three commercial partnerships, the acquisition and fitting of first aid kits in cabs, bespoke cab decals, two course videos and 10 x defibrillators at a cost of £1000 each.