With 5 million daily passengers in the metro and the RER, the large advertisements displayed on the walls touch the world! For Alexandra Lafay, of Mediastransports, what better place than the Paris metro to sell the charms of the province? “According to a study conducted in October 2021 with Iligo, 54% of Ile-de-France residents questioned said they regularly use the metro or the RER”, she recalls. As a result, campaigns to encourage Parisians and suburbanites to leave the capital and Ile-de-France are multiplying. Everyone gets involved: regions, departments, cities, medium-sized towns and sometimes even small towns!
"Fed up with concrete, thirst for new horizons"
Oise, Orne, Cher, the city of Alès, Sarthe, Moselle, La Roche-sur-Yon and many others compete in creativity in their slogans. There are the offensive campaigns: “The solution, Tired of concrete, thirsty for new horizons! », insists La Roche-sur-Yon, « Lack of space, need for space? asks the Oise, “Deconfine yourself forever in Mazamet”, proclaims the city of Tarn … There are also the countryside which play on the words: “Alès, the capital which does not lack air!” (read below), or seductive: “Want to go to the beach after work? ” suggests the Var, “Live better, come to Évreux, for a weekend or for life”, “Besançon, you are well on your way to staying!”, “Come and live your 5-star retirement in Roanne”. There are also neutral, simple and direct campaigns: “Get started in Sarthe!” indicate large posters illustrated by young workers who have joined the department. Finally, there are the campaigns that play heavily on the visual. The most recent: magnificent lavender fields in the south of the Drôme which lit up the gray walls of the metro a month ago. Giant posters, plastered everywhere on the walls of the stations of the RATP network of the capital. A good idea from the Drôme Provençale Tourist Offices.
Trigger the need to change your life
A hundred territories have already sold their assets in the Paris metro since the explosion of this new marketing of the regions of France. “It has always existed, before it was for summer tourism, for a few years and even more so with the health crisis, it is downright to encourage people to leave Paris and start a new life elsewhere, notes Alexandra Lafay. The campaigns obviously talk about quality of life, transport, services, proximity, the environment, but not only... The province now wants to be just as economically attractive. »
Advertising strategists are careful to differentiate slogans with purely tourist campaigns. Triggering the need to change your life is much more difficult than convincing people to spend a simple vacation somewhere.
If the France of the big cities seduces, like Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon or Marseille, more unexpected places like Haute-Marne or the center of France also attract people and wish to make it known, hoping for a snowball effect. Paris has moved closer to the rest of France thanks to the TGV and Aube or Indre, for example, play on the proximity of the capital to address young entrepreneurs.
The agglomeration of Alès has multiplied campaigns to encourage Parisians to join and settle in the Gard. The capital of the Cévennes, where Julien Doré, Alexandra and Audrey Lamy are from, was displayed in 4 meters by 1.50 meters in the Paris metro. With a slogan on 700 panels: “The capital of the Cévennes smiles on the daring. And a conviction: Alès is the right compromise between the deep countryside and the big city. The city has also chosen this visual to show the good life, the fresh air of the Cévennes mountains, but also all its economic and cultural attractions.
The campaign invaded line A of the RER, and was shown in majesty in 100 stations, passing through the Halles or the Trocadéro. 700 posters were seen by nearly 5 million people in one week according to the RATP. Due to the post-Covid economic crisis, the RATP advertising department negotiated its spaces at a quarter of their price: 20,000 euros per campaign instead of the 90,000 euros usually displayed.
Objective claimed by the Occitan agglomeration: to reach 42,000 inhabitants in 2023 (compared to just over 39,000 at the last census). Entrepreneurs seduced by the idea of moving to the South-East could participate in a competition, with, as the key, one year's rent offered, support from a business incubator and a financial endowment.
In 2020, the city had already promised individuals, in campaigns on the RATP platforms, that it was "not lacking in air", and that it was "a city on a human scale".
The campaign's objective has already been achieved: to restore the city's image. "We sometimes suffer from an old and unfair image of a black, poor, landlocked mining town, for those who do not know us", laments a cafe owner in the city. It is now overcome...