ETS Concert in Motion: Behind the Scenes

Recently, Edmonton Transit System (ETS)  teamed up with local musician Colleen Brown and Councillor Don Iveson to create “a concert in motion.” The initial goal was modest:  Showcase ETS’ new commuter tools for ETS Trip Planner and promote their upcoming Twitter take-over. The result was something a little more amazing than your average advertising spot however. A weird blend of creative energy and passion for positive change that had everyone involved tapping their toes for the day-long shoot.

Curious to learn what went on behind-the-scenes I sat down with ETS marketing masterminds Nathan Walters and Priya Bhasin-Singh for a chat about where the idea came from and how the day unfolded. And look,  I even snagged some set photos!

The production team after a long day's shoot

TE: How did the idea of a Concert in Motion come about?

Priya: It started with our move onto Facebook. We’re always looking for new ways to build loyalty with our riders and communicate with them on another level – add a bit of the fun and personality side of ETS.

TE: Was it created to promote the new ETS Trip Planner?

Nathan: Well, yes and no. The video is part of a larger campaign to formally launch our social media offerings. This includes the ETS Trip Planner as well as the Twitter addition which launches before fall’s end and our presence on Facebook.

TE: Why opt to do something more creative and ambiguous in intent, rather than a traditional video ad spot?

Nathan: We really want to drive home the fact that ETS is exciting, full of energy and still very much relevant. And in order to do that we really had to take a non-traditional approach.

The video is actually based on a Feist performance on Jimmy Kimmel where she’s performing on a bus in very much the same way and it seemed to fit nicely, because at the end of the day that’s our business. When our collaborators at Red the Agency pitched this to us, it was an easy decision.

Councillor Don Iveson rocks the stand-up base

TE: How did Colleen Brown get involved? Was she always your performer of choice?

Nathan: We wanted a performer that commanded a presence locally and who would be seen as being relevant and full of energy and Red the Agency suggested Colleen Brown. And actually, the timing worked out perfectly because she was coming out with her new album, Dirt, at the same time as we were launching our campaign.

TE: Tell us a bit about the shoot.

Priya:  We put out a call-to-action on our Facebook page to get people involved as extras and that really got our community intrigued in our page and wanting to be involved on the day. It proved to be a great way to connect with people in the community.

Nathan: Yeah, even our approach to that was non-traditional because usually for shoots like this you’d hold a formal casting and such, but this was very much an inclusive process. Very different way of doing things.

ETS bus #rock picks up some more music lovers

TE: How long did it take to shoot the video?

Priya: It took one day to shoot the video. One very long day. And then with editing I’d say about a month to fully complete the video.

Nathan: The nature of the concept, having the musicians board the bus and play their parts as the song builds, was a challenging one and took rehearsals and many takes, but we got it, and are all happy with how it turned out.

TE: How many times did you play the song then?

Priya: (laughing) Enough that we were humming it for the next couple of weeks.

Nathan: We’ll also be uploading the ‘Making Of’ video to give those that couldn’t make it out to the shoot an inside look of how the project came together.  I encourage people to ‘Like’ ETS on Facebook so they can catch this great video as well as the latest offers, contests and special events.

And the end result:

For more behind-the-scenes pictures head to ETS on Facebook


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About the Author
Christopher Webster
Christopher Webster is a Communications Advisor with the Community Services Branch.
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