Much has changed in public transportation since Greyhound’s first coach bus roared to life 100 years ago. To mark the brand’s centennial and promote the modern amenities of its latest fleet, Greyhound is doing what it does best—hitting the road on a cross-country tour. The tour is split into a southern leg and a northern leg, each with four vintage Greyhound coaches and an interactive museum bus. The Centennial Tour kicked off at Patriot Place in Boston May 29 and wraps Dec. 20 at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Los Angeles. Both “legs” however, will meet in the middle at the State Fair of Texas in September.
The fixture of the tour is the museum bus and as consumers board it they’ll see several mannequins wearing driver uniforms from different periods throughout the brand’s history. There are vintage accessories such as driver pins, hat badges and terminal signage on display. Consumers can interact with three touchscreen panels that offer an interactive Greyhound historical timeline including old commercials and a look inside the evolutions of the vehicles. Another screen plays looped videos and interviews from the past with drivers or a celebrity that may have boarded a Greyhound bound for Hollywood or Nashville to achieve their dreams.
Consumers can also check out the present day blue and silver coaches on-site and experience amenities from the wifi to the power outlets, legroom and safety belts. And at a sales tent brand ambassadors are educating consumers on the different travel packages Greyhound offers as well as the latest rates and deals. Greyhound has partnered with various venues for tour stops including Simon Property Group malls across the U.S., Six Flags Theme Parks, museums, zoos and aquariums. All are family-friendly, where consumers would welcome a free activity.
“For us, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be involved in something this special, so we knew we had to go big, allowing people to make that visual connection in person between where we came from and where we are today,” says Nicole Recker, senior marketing manager at Greyhound. “We find that grassroots marketing pays off well, that if we get somebody to experience our service they will walk away with the desire to travel with us again.”