Swedish public transport agency stacks cars to drive home emissions data
Ad for Västtrafik reimagines ‘boring’ stats in an effort to combat climate apathy.
Every day in the media we are bombarded with new statistics, charts and graphs depicting the severity of the climate emergency. But for its newest ad for Västtrafik, the agency responsible for public transport services in Västra Götaland, Sweden, Forsman & Bodenfors has questioned whether we are missing the key messages amid an information overload.
With numbers from IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Västtrafik has produced figures that show how emissions of carbon dioxide differ between different vehicle types. Calculating the total carbon dioxide emissions per kilometer for the transport of 50 people, an electric bus is shown to emit 11 times less than if the same number travels with an electric car and 36 times less than if they travel with a fossil fuel car. The statistics are based on the vehicles’ entire life cycles, including manufacturing and operation, and on each car holding 1.4 people – the average in Sweden.
In the ad, the stats are recreated in a bar graph that appears in the sky, built of electric and fossil fuel cars, as well as an electric bus. By the end of the spot, viewers can see the difference in the carbon emitted by each mode of transportation.
“Statistics are an effective way to make the complex understandable, but unfortunately statistics are often quite boring,” commented Pontus Caresten Lychou, a copywriter at Forsman & Bodenfors. “We wanted to show the advantages of public transport in as clear and exciting a way as possible.”
Lars Backman, chief executive officer of Västtrafik, which has made a significant investment in electric vehicles in recent years, added: “We wanted to make statistics available to more people, because a prerequisite for reaching the climate goals is that we share the resources. We need to travel more together – it is simply not enough to replace millions of fossil cars with millions of electric cars.”
The ad will appear in print and digital across Västtrafik stores, as well as on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and TikTok.