Jimmy loves to ride RTD but he’s done some pretty shady things on our buses and trains. He leaves trash on seats, blasts loud music without headphones, and always annoys the other passengers. Our transit police keep a watchful eye on Jimmy as he is always violating our rider code of conduct. At RTD, we care about our customers and their riding experience so have respect, don’t be a schmuck, and whatever you do...don’t be Jimmy
Jimmy Campaign Background
In December 2016, the RTD Board of Directors adopted a Rider Code of Conduct. The Jimmy campaign was created to bring awareness, with a friendly yet impactful message, to the actions and behaviors that violate the code of conduct. It also addresses the behaviors most often seen by our passengers that negatively affect them and their overall riding experience. The Jimmy campaign was developed to start a conversation, sway from traditional etiquette messaging, and provide passengers with something to think about while riding transit.
Our Market Research department recently conducted a survey among our online customer panel to identify the bad behaviors they see most often and also ones that most detract most from their riding experience. The survey was sent electronically to approximately 400 people and the response rate was significantly high at 75%. The Jimmy campaign will evolve over time and address the behaviors identified by our customer panel and the ones contained the Rider Code of Conduct.
Jimmy is a fictional character created to portray the bad behaviors that are sometimes observed by our passengers. His rude character and behaviors married with the direct tagline “Don’t be Jimmy” is an effort to show the community and passengers that RTD cares about our customer’s riding experience. RTD is careful not to portray malice or intent directly to passengers when using the character. Jimmy will help boost shareability and engagement with people. It was important for us to create a campaign that enables our audience to become emotionally connected (through humor), and leave the audience wanting more, or in this case, wanting to know what Jimmy is going to do next. We expect building this anticipation will allow for a campaign with longevity, one that tells a story and allows us to refresh campaign creative and possibly introduce additional characters down the line.
While we know the advertising itself does not directly change the behaviors of some of our passengers, we feel the implementation of a rider code of conduct in conjunction with an advertising campaign will serve as a friendly reminder and reiterate to all of our riders that we care about their overall riding experience. This campaign strives to meet the following goals:
- Increase awareness about RTD’s newly established rider code of conduct
- Show goodwill to our riders impacted by the bad behaviors of others
- Address bad conduct by passengers that affects others
There is no real significance behind the name Jimmy other than to give our character an easy-to-remember, relatable name. By naming a character something less memorable would lessen the impact of the message. We realize there are passengers named Jimmy and there is no intent whatsoever to insinuate that any person named Jimmy behaves badly on RTD. Jimmy, again, is a fictional character with a name to simply create an impression and relatable association with the message being portrayed. We are only making an example of him, not all people named Jimmy. We chose not to use “Don’t be a Jimmy” for this reason.
The roll out of Jimmy will begin with limited advertising which will include onboard advertising, social media and digital media tactics. Time will tell. If Jimmy is well-received by our passengers, we will build on the momentum by introducing new scenarios, engaging materials, and possibly Jimmy’s friend, Jennie or other characters.