x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Advertising campaign uses stunt yolks to persuade motorists to use the Metro

Fake fried eggs sizzle in the sun on thousands of car bonnets in bid to make motorists see the cool benefits of travelling by public transport in Dubai.

One of the fried egg cards left on this bonnet could be mistaken for the real thing in Media City. The fake eggs are part of an RTA campaign to encourage people to take the Metro.
One of the fried egg cards left on this bonnet could be mistaken for the real thing in Media City. The fake eggs are part of an RTA campaign to encourage people to take the Metro.

DUBAI // Fried eggs were splattered across the bonnets of thousands of cars in the emirate yesterday. Well, not quite. But many commuters did a double take when they found eggs seemingly sizzling in the summer heat on car hoods in Dubai Media City, Internet City and Deira.

The sunny-side-up culprits, printed on palm-sized cards and mounted on magnets, were part of a Dubai Metro advertising campaign to get people out of their cars and onto the Metro. The small lettering on the egg white read: "It's a cool 20°C on the Metro". Some 3,500 cars were plastered with the magnetic cards yesterday, and about the same number of vehicles will be targeted tomorrow. "We're trying to get a key message across in a different way," said  Peyman Younes Parham, the director of the Roads and Transport Authority's corporate marketing department.

"Basically, we want to get people who drive cars thinking of public transport - and the Metro specifically. The idea we're placing is that it is so hot right now you can fry an egg on your car." The advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai drew up the campaign to target motorists near the Red Line between Ibn Battuta and Bur Dubai over the next few days. The agency targeted areas where there was little underground car parking.

The fried egg campaign drew laughs from many car owners. Some spotted the magnetic cards as they pulled off sun shades from the windscreen, others gave a curious glance at the eggs while walking up to their cars. "This is so funny. It literally is baking here," said Osadya Selen, a French national who runs a marketing firm in Media City. The temperature on her car thermometer showed 46°C. "It should have been bigger, though, many people won't see the egg because the sunlight is blinding."

Mira Magd, who works with a television media company and frequently travels on the Metro, said: "It's really cool advertising. But you can't use the Metro every time; sometimes people need cars to get them to different places." Mr Parham acknowledged the campaign would not get people hopping onto the Metro immediately, but said it would get people thinking. "It's a new campaign style in which we are trying to send people a message: 'See how long it takes to walk to your car? How long it takes for the air conditioning to kick in? Instead, you could have been sitting in a cool Metro station'," he said.

Meanwhile, the RTA yesterday announced November 1 as Public Transport Day to mark the fifth anniversary of the transport body. To celebrate, free rides will be given to Nol Card holders on the Metro, buses and water taxis. Passengers have made 30 million rail trips in Dubai since the Metro launch last year. rtalwar@thenational.ae