West Coast Express, like all other commuter systems, has a responsibility to post safety messages throughout their system—including on vehicles and at stations. But simply having these mandatory messages displayed does not mean that they are doing anything more than satisfying a legal obligation.

The problem is that most people pay no attention to these safety and public service announcement (PSA) messages. For all intents and purposes, they simply blend into the 'woodwork'.

Due to the inherent dangers of being around railway tracks and trains, along with West Coast Express's commitment to their passengers' safety, the company wants to make their 'Don't Cross Tracks' and 'Stand Back From The Yellow Line' messages more effective and top-of-mind than they currently are.
Our belief is that PSA and safety campaigns need not be bland & generic, nor do they have to be shocking, to be effective. Instead they simply need to be well thought-out AND relevant to the audience.

So, to create a safety campaign that could be engaging and memorable, we injected an element of humour into both the 'Track Crossing' and 'Yellow Line' messages. We also rolled-out one of the executions into an experiential marketing campaign—to truly bring the campaign to life.
The campaign not only managed to cut-through the clutter and increase awareness & recognition for both safety messages, but it went viral.

An article was also written, by a local newspaper, which garnered further awareness—not only for the importance of safety protocols, but also for the brand. But perhaps most importantly, riders were observed (and photographed) standing back further from the yellow line.

Platform Signage

We used a traditional platform poster for the 'Stay Off The Tracks' sign, but made sure the message was anything but traditional. The strength of this line is in its blatant simplicity…and of course its humour.

Platform Floor Chalk

After developing the campaign concept, we invited members of West Coast Express's ridership to submit their own potential pay-off lines. In fact, some of the lines used were ones that were crowd-sourced.

The pay-off lines were printed with chalk spray on the actual platform (below the permanent 'Stay Back From The Yellow Line' wording) and updated weekly—which established anticipation and desire to see the next (humorous) pay-off line.

What really contributed to the success of the campaign is that in order for someone to read the pay-off line, they'd need to literally step back from the yellow line.

Public Relations

At the request of our client, we prepared a story release to summarize the behaviour altering experiential campaign for the 'Stand Back From The Yellow Line' message. That release (and the campaign, itself) led to a feature story on the front page of one of Vancouver's daily newspapers.


Both safety messages eventually went viral—without any push on our part. It started with one West Coast Express passenger sharing the photo in the first few days of the campaign.

Over the following weeks and months, thousands of shares, tweets and posts were made on various social media channels from individuals as far away as the UK and Japan—including a share by Star Trek's own George Takei.

More of Our Experiential Case Studies: