CIty of Melbourne Active Cities

2014 | Carat Melbourne

A never been done before media execution that inspired Melbournians to introduce some exercise into their daily routine

w 117% Increase in footflow We motivated Melbournians to be active and take the stairs rather than the elevator with an inspiring art installation, resulting in a 117% increase in foot traffic during the campaign period.


In an effort to stave off the ‘winter blues’ and the toll they take on our health and wellbeing,  City of Melbourne launched the ‘Healthy Together Active Cities Melbourne’ campaign, aimed at motivating Melburnians to introduce healthier habits into their everyday.

CoM placed a particular emphasis on encouraging our CBD workers  - evaluated as being at a higher risk of heart disease due to their sedentary lifestyle – to inject some extra incidental exercise into their day-to-day routine.

With a small budget, we needed to find a communications solution that brought this initiative to the attention of Melbournians but also made it happen too.


Knowing that preaching to or guilt-tripping the time poor CBD worker would not be effective, we had to appeal to a different motivation.  Put simply; find a way to make incidental activity exciting.

As citizens of the self-appointed 'Culture Capital', we realised that a passion most Melburnians share – particularly those living and working in the city – is a love of art and culture.

Rather than berate our target audience with obnoxious fitness platitudes (#riseandgrind) or waste money on a run-of-the-mill media campaign, we decided instead to inspire and incentivise incidental exercise through art.

We identified the perfect opportunity within the context of their commute to and from work – an impressive (albeit neglected) set of stairs at the Bourke St entrance to one of Melbourne’s busiest transport hubs, Southern Cross Station.

We used the stairs as a canvas for public art, covering the entire stairs with an awe-inspiring, full colour heart-themed mural with the goal of engaging people in such a way that they’d be compelled to ditch the escalators in favour of interacting with the scene on the stairs.

This was the first time the space had played host to a painted mural. Once the mural was completed, the reaction from commuters was instantaneous.



Results proved that the mural worked its motivational magic, sparking a massive 117% increase in foot traffic on the stairs during peak travel times.

Our ‘before shot’ was taken on Tuesday 10th July. Out of a total of 5,011 commuters, 855 commuters (17%) scaled the bare stairs during peak hour (5.00 - 6.30pm).

In comparison, our ‘after shot’ – taken while the mural was up, on Monday 7th August, out of a total of 5,574 commuters, a whopping 2,048 (37%) commuters ‘put a spring in their step’ and took the stairs – an additional 1,193 people, when compared to foot traffic on the unpainted stairs.

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