A little over 5 years ago, Metro Trains in Melbourne created one of the most entertaining PSAs of all time:

The video was an instant, massive hit, spawning an app, a game, a hit song, a childrens’ book, more videos and over 160 million views on YouTube.  More importantly, the campaign resulted in a 21% reduction in accidents on the Metro system in the year following its release.

It also cost $300,000 and took months to plan.

This week, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (SFBART) addressed a similar issue in a completely different way.  There’s no possibility that it will have the same impact as Dumb Ways To Die, but it has the potential to save lives, and it definitely promotes SFBART as a caring company with great customer service.

Also, it was free and took less than three hours to produce

Here’s what happened…

On his way into work, SF commuter Christian Keil took off his bike helmet, dislodging his Apple AirPod headphone, which bounced down onto the tracks.  Then he took a pic and composed a sad tweet to say goodbye:

The SFBART social media team quickly got in touch, alerted their track crew to the location of the AirPod, and arranged retrieval.  Brilliantly, they then shot this video to praise Christian for not going into the trackway himself (and to warn others of the danger) and explain exactly how they solved his problem:

Typically, SFBARTs tweets get around a dozen likes, up to ten retweets and the odd reply.  By responding so quickly and positively to this extremely relatable situation, the three tweets they wrote about it got a total of around 11,000 likes, 1,350 retweets, 85 overwhelmingly positive replies and a feature on BuzzFeed News.  They managed to promote their brand, provide awesome customer service, and endorse a strong, important public safety message.

Being responsive to your customers needs can result in a big win. If you monitor your social media for mentions of your brand (which you should definitely be doing), look for opportunities to use video to provide personalised customer service that can show off the ethos of your company.  When a PSA becomes effective marketing, you must be doing something right.


More Marketing Video Blogs

For more tips on making your marketing video amazing, check out our previous blogs below:

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