Information about the positive consequences of sustainable modes can help foster modal shifts, but is not sufficient to achieve a change of perception and attitude. Public transport, cycling and walking need to be associated with positive emotions like excitement, fun, being moved, a lust for life, pride and so on.
The main object of Trendy Travel is to show how sustainable travel can be made more attractive by appealing to people's emotional needs, so as to effect a modal shift from the car to more sustainable transport modes.
It is effectively a dissemination project, which disseminates the idea of sustainable, environmentally friendly and sound modes of transportation to the broader public with the support of emotional promotion tools like storytelling,rituals, raising the image of cycling with highly emotional advertising,"pleasing the eye" (introducing the power of art) and finally,exploitation of children's "pester power".
The dissemination approach of TRENDY TRAVEL includes non traditional ways of dissemination, designed to encourage storytelling. Five different emotional approaches are used within the project:
- The first uses storytelling to engage interest, make public transport more pleasurable, reward good travel habits, entice positive mode shifts, etc.
- The second is based on the idea that rituals structure our lives, form habits, and encourage commitment to participation. This is exploited to encourage the use of the bicycle as a daily mode of transport by developing annually cycling event calendars.
- The third strategy is to raise the image of cycling (particularly in the New Member States) using the same high quality marketing approach employed by the car industry. It includes market research using the cycling climate test to ascertain how people feel about cycling before and after the Trendy Travel actions. Other image raising techniques include: celebrity endorsement, quirky competitions for cyclist group tours and the 20 good reasons to cycle brochure.
- The fourth strategy aims to make sustainable travel more sensually appealing particularly by pleasing the eye. It involves the production of guidelines and resource packs on how to make cycling routes more attractive e.g. by providing drinking fountains, architectural landscaping, signage etc. It will also use eye-catching pictures, paintings and cartoon graphics free-to-download from the TRENDY TRAVEL Website.
- The fifth and final strategy exploits children's Pester Power to persuade parents to let them walk, cycle or take the bus to school. Safe cycle training travel workshops for parents and kids, games, lotteries and contests to encourage good travel habits were carried out.
- The successful implementation of the "emotional approach" to the promotion of sustainable travel was one of the key successes of the programme. Previous approaches such as outlining the health, environmental ("safe the world") and financial benefits have had limited success in attracting new people to cycling and public transport, and the Trendy Travel approach will be seen in the future as an effective approach in making sustainable transport, attractive, fashionable, etc. and to be seen as a cool part of life.
- The power of storytelling was seen, particularly in Dutch Railways, as a powerful tool to develop the emotional side of public transport and the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) intends to further use this approach in the future , because the stories never end.
- Stories were also used very successfully in Austria, where the 10 best stories from over 340 submissions have been published in cooperation with the Styrian Transport Association and 21,000 copies of this booklet were distributed amongst season ticket holders.
- The "Application" and in particular events and the calendar cycle year were very successful in providing enjoyment for existing cyclists and encouraging new cyclists through the high level of media attention received. Some of the events have now been integrated permanently into city policies.
- The Trendy Travel website is a very powerful and easy to use source of an immense amount of material. It is available to individuals, organisations, municipalities, etc. for use in the promotion of sustainable modes of transport.
- The Kindergarten Programme was very successful in causing a positive impact on parents through their children and this programme will be widely copied into the future. There are examples of parents switching from cars to bicycles in order to accompany their children to the kindergartens. Furthermore several other municipalities in the region have shown interest in carrying out the same project.
- Five funny emotional video clips were produced to promote cycling and sustainable transport in general. The clips have all been place on YouTube and are regularly viewed.
- An audiobook of stories relating to sustainable transport was produced in English, German and Italian. It is downloadable from the Trendy Travel website and shows that scientific facts and figures are easier to communicate and will be remembered longer if they are presented in an entertaining form.