Bus campaign celebrating the impact of buying local

A bus with BC Buy Local sticker wrap covered in colourful illustrations
It’s not every day we get asked to wrap a bus, so we were delighted to make this #BCBuyLocal campaign dazzle on the streets of Vancouver! / Photo: Lamar Advertising and West Broadway BIA

We took the #BCBuyLocal campaign on the road (literally) by creating colourful bus wraps and info panels that highlighted the economic & environmental benefits of shopping local during the holiday season.

Communication design challenge

The Vancouver BIA Partnership consists of 22 BIAs in Vancouver representing 1000’s of commercial property owners and local businesses. Members are committed to enhancing the vitality of the business community by developing initiatives that enhance and benefit their area, from promoting small businesses and local events, to streetscape projects and developing community partnerships.

In collaboration with long-time iilo client LOCO BC, the opportunity to design a bus wrap came up and we knew it was a great chance to promote the economic and environmental impacts of shopping close to home, while also showcasing the work of a local BC-based illustrator.

Different angles of a B-line bus wrapped in brightly coloured decal on the streets of Vancouver
It was so much fun to see our colourful bus brightening up a winter day in the city. / Photos: Lamar Advertising and West Broadway BIA.
The interior panels of the bus showing stats supporting the message that buying local has a 107x greater economic impact
The interior of the bus was chock full of stats highlighting the economic and environmental impacts of shopping local.


For the outside of the bus, we worked with Vancouver BIA Partnership and LOCO BC collaboratively to focus the messaging on the BC Buy Local campaign, while creating a broad interpretation of “shop local this holiday season” with decorated trees, fireworks, menorahs, and Diwali lanterns. We engaged local talent Sebastian Abboud to bring the #BCBuyLocal messaging to life with his playful illustrative style. One of our regular freelance collaborators, Mary-margret Degraaf, supported the project with some spot illustrations and design production.

For the inside of the bus, we designed 26 rack cards that went above the seats for riders to learn compelling stats from LOCO BC’s Vancity-funded report “Economic & Carbon Impact of Shopping Local,” including:

  • Buying local online has a 107 times greater economic impact than shopping from non-local online retailers.
  • Local products have up to 66% less carbon footprint.
  • Local businesses keep 92% of every dollar local.

As a benefit of working with a long-time client, we were able to repurpose graphics that we had previously created for LOCO BC. We efficiently resized designs to fit within the new campaign, saving both time and money for our client.

During the project production, our client asked their partner Lamar Advertising (Translink) to reuse the backside of old panels. They had never done that before, but it worked so well that our contact said they’d do it more often as it saved a huge amount of waste and material costs. Given the campaign goal was to promote the economic and environmental benefits of shopping local, it was very fitting that we were able to reduce the footprint of the bus graphics themselves in the process.

Our impact

iilo’s creative direction and illustrations were above and beyond! Lisa and the team were organized, reliable, and a joy to work with. Their work made a positive impact on our project, organization, and stakeholder relations. Last but not least, they truly cared and they made it fun!

Michelle Barile
Executive Director, West Broadway BIA

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