TTC Priority Seats: Invisible

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  • “Invisible” was developed when the TTC selected Barrett and Welsh to pitch for its business. We were asked to present breakthrough creative that made riders aware of its blue priority seats and encouraged them to voluntarily offer these seats to other riders who appeared to require them or who requested their use. But we knew it was not always possible to tell when a person needs a blue seat based on their appearance or use of assistive equipment. So many needs are not immediately apparent, such as concealed disabilities or conditions that cause invisible disabilities, crippling pain, fatigue and cognitive dysfunctions to name a few. We saw an opportunity for the TTC brand to go beyond “appearances” and to acknowledge all needs, seen and unseen.

    Rather than an awareness campaign, we created a self-awareness campaign. We chose to ask riders to acknowledge their own nearly universal inability: the inability to judge what is hidden from view. We chose to surprise riders by revealing common invisible needs — a woman in early pregnancy, a man with a prosthetic leg, a senior with a waist brace. The message: You’d be surprised who needs a priority seat. Not every need is obvious. Not every need is visible. Please use a blue priority seat only if you need it. Please think twice before sitting if you don’t. Barrett and Welsh was not awarded the assignment but we are very proud of the work we did and the recognition it has received.

  • Though this campaign was never used (Barrett and Welsh was not awarded the assignment) it won a Gold award in the 2016 Summit Creative Awards for Best Idea Never Produced and we are very proud of the work and the recognition it has received.