Advertising dominates Calgary LRT stations

Imagine yourself enduring the crowded commute on the LRT in one of Canada’s largest cities. You’re squeezed. Jostled. Tired. A prisoner of the rush hour throng.

Suddenly you’re enveloped by breathtaking images of wide-open spaces and amazing wildlife in northern Manitoba. “Next Stop FASCINATION,” the ads promise. “Next Stop EXHILARATION.”

“Yes,” you think. “I want to go THERE.”

This is the experience created by the “station domination” campaign now running in two of Calgary’s busiest LRT stations. No matter where they look, commuters moving through the Marlborough and Southland stations are greeted by awe-inspiring invitations to escape to an Arctic safari in Manitoba. Walls, doors, stairways and even floors display the wonders of polar bears, belugas and northern lights.

“To create some social media buzz, our eMarketing team also created two amusing posters, asking for help finding Manitoba’s lost polar bear, ‘Cuddles,’ and ‘Steve,’ the beluga whale,” said Linda Whitfield, Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “We tweeted them to Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi and Calgary Transit. But at last check, they were still on the loose!”

Once the campaign was up and running, Travel Manitoba did a full wrap of the Calgary Metro newspaper. When commuters picked up the paper and boarded the train, it was one more opportunity to entice them to the Arctic safari experience.

Every weekday, about 30,000 Calgarians board trains at the two LRT stations. The station domination campaign will brighten their commute until the end of June.