Barclays Takes Branded ‘Innovation Bus’ on Tour

Barclays built a custom, branded tour bus this past summer, then took it around towns in England to support its “One Small Step” small business competition. The contest offered ten £50,000 prizes to startups and other businesses around the UK with fresh, innovative ideas.

Aboard the bus, amenities included a comfortable seating lounge surrounded by subtle marketing messages,an intimate meeting space in the “library,” and LCD screens (both inside and out). The bank wrapped the bus exterior in the Barclays brand, including graphics and messages specific to the campaign: “Jump on…and you could win £50,000 to help your business idea take off.” When the bus is parked, staff can set up outdoor seating.

Submissions closed for the “One Small Step” contest closed in May, and were open only to those with a Barclays business account. Judges selected shortlists in each of the 10 different UK regions. Winners were ultimately selected by a public vote held in July.

One winner in each region received an initial sum of £10,000 to get started. From there, a local Barclays bank manager will step in to work out how each winner should best spend their money over the next 12 months. Because it can take months — even years — to get a startup idea off the ground, winners might find they aren’t able to spend all the money within the one year prize period.

Barclays created a subsite with a custom URL to support the “One Small Step” promotion, where you can find a list of the contest’s winners.

The bank also established a dedicated “One Small Step” Facebook presence, which drew at least 275 fans.

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