New Västtrafik ad makes climate statistics more memorable by stacking cars

“Statistics are often quite boring”: ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors uses creative tactics to counter our acclimation to shocking climate studies.

Date
24 January 2023

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In an advert for Swedish public transportation company Västtrafik, Forsman&Bodenfors tries to come up with a new solution to our increasing desensitisation to climate crisis statistics.

The advert is based around one particular stat, from the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. It says that if 50 people travelled by electric bus, they would emit 36 times less CO2 than if they travelled by fossil car, and 11 times less than travelling by electric car. Västtrafik’s goal is to make these statistics available to more people, “because a prerequisite for reaching the climate goals is that we share the resources,” says CEO Lars Backman.

Forsman & Bodenfors has responded with a spot that more tangibly visualises differences in carbon emissions between transport options. It compares a singular electric bus with 36 fossil cars piled on top of eachother. The ad is short, but the final “vehicle bar graph” image has staying power, which is, after all, the challenge Forsman & Bodenfors set out to solve.

“Västtrafik has made a huge investment in electrification in recent years, and we wanted to draw attention to the climate benefits of that,” says Forsman & Bodenfors’ Pontus Caresten Lychou. “Statistics are an effective way to make the complex understandable, but unfortunately, statistics are often quite boring. We wanted to show the advantages of public transport in as clear and exciting a way as possible.”

It’s not the first time Forsman & Bodenfors has visualised the impact of transport choices in innovative ways. In 2019, the ad agency used toy cars to impressively illustrate how 30,000 vehicles could be removed from streets if motorists took up a promotion run by Västtrafik, offering out the same number of free travel passes.

GalleryForsman&Bodenfors: Västtrafik, Together for reduced emissions (Copyright © Västtrafik)

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Forsman&Bodenfors: Västtrafik, Together for reduced emissions (Copyright © Västtrafik)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.

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