Key moment #2: The strategic shift


Hello Tanguy! A large group launching a BtoC brand,
Does that speak to you?

We have been working for a long time with the VINCI group, and in particular with VINCI Autoroutes. It was at the time of the arrival of "free flow" in France, the very beginning of barrier-free tolls - in any case the first reflections: from a brand point of view, who carries the offer? How do we talk about it? What posture do we adopt? Many questions... especially as the motorway sector is sometimes difficult to understand, for example not everyone knows that electronic toll collection is managed by different operators.

So there are a lot of questions...

VINCI Autoroutes already had a beta application dedicated to free flow: Leap and its kangaroo mascot. But at the same time, there is also the desire to create a brand to boost electronic toll collection, with the aim of building loyalty. Plus the idea of enriching Radio VINCI Autoroutes with personalised content to make journeys more enjoyable. VINCI Autoroutes must also be present. We are beginning to see the eco-system, but we don't yet have the scenario.

That's a lot of brands...

We're doing lots of tests in this direction, with names, logos, visual universes... but nothing really works, we can't find the idea that puts everyone in agreement, we're circling around VINCI's blue/white/red without getting there. And time is short: we are fast approaching summer, which is the peak time for sales of electronic toll badges.

And then it's the flip-flop!

There was this meeting where at one point the client clicked: a single brand that carries everything, a brand that is user-oriented, truly BtoC. VINCI Autoroutes had never done this before, it was a bold choice. And for us too, it was a creative breakthrough: we abandoned blue/white/red for orange, we explored much simpler and more accessible ways, with minimalist and friendly illustrations, we really got closer to the target in the design, in the words, in the brand's attitude. It's a small revolution but at the same time it's obvious and we're going for it.

That's it, Ulys is born?

"The idea is to make the journey as important as the destination. Ulys makes life easier for users with a promise of enhanced mobility. It's a bit like the brand where you are the hero, with all the services that make your journey easier, smoother and richer. Hence the concept, the hero of the Odyssey, human intelligence in the face of hazards.

Everything is perfect then!

Except that the strategic shift takes place in June, just before the big start! We had one month to complete everything: secure the name, finalise the design, roll out the media, carry out a communication campaign... It was a race. We spent an intense month, creating the brand from A to Z in a few weeks, but in the end we arrived at our destination in good time. Tired but proud. In fact, we were the ones who really needed a holiday.

End of the journey?

Ulys is a brand in full evolution. The free flow has not yet been released and other challenges are arriving, such as carpooling, with the creation of dedicated zones at strategic motorway junctions. So the journey is far from over!