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Success Story

Driving Success: Data-led Innovation Revved Up Talent Recruitment for First.

Key Results


Reduction in Cost Per Acquisition


Increase in Engaged Applicants


Sweet Spot of 3.6 Days Statistically Significant from Touch Point to Application


FirstGroup plc, Britain's leading transport group, is excited to reveal a dynamic partnership with the JACK RYAN. This collaboration ushers in FirstGroup's inaugural national recruitment campaign, showcasing across digital, print, and out-of-home.

The national talent attraction task was to orchestrate a data-led and high performance campaign, targeting driving careers at First Bus, a prominent division of First Group.

The campaign's objective was not just to elevate the brand's profile but also to resonate with a broad audience, showcasing First Group as a top employer in the transportation sector. This initiative was pivotal, considering First Group's significant footprint in the UK's transport landscape, employing a vast workforce and connecting communities across the nation.


The opportunity presented by this campaign was twofold. Firstly, it aimed to leverage the principles of behavioral change theory, rooted in marketing science, to effectively influence and engage the target audience.


This approach meant understanding and tapping into the psychological journey of potential applicants, guiding them from awareness to action. Secondly, the campaign sought to capitalise on the growing importance of sustainable and reliable public transport in the UK, positioning First Bus as an employer of choice in this evolving market.


Utilising both marketing science principles and actions allowed for a more calculated and impactful approach, ensuring that each campaign element was strategically aligned with the desired behavioural outcomes.


Front of Mind Status reinforced with high performance media.

The campaign was executed through a strategic mix of high-impact and multi-frequency advertising across various channels:

  1. Digital Platforms: Utilised Meta Platforms and Programmatic advertising, complemented by re-targeted search strategies.

  2. Data Tracking: Employed proprietary data tracking for attribution modelling across all channels.

  3. Out of Home Advertising: Featured impact sites across major UK cities like Bristol, Leeds, and Glasgow, including significant out-of-home advertising.

  4. Print Media: Executed a cover wrap of the national Metro newspaper, ensuring widespread visibility.

This comprehensive approach ensured a robust presence across digital and physical advertising spaces, ensuring a front of mind status which was then followed by high performance media channels.


Continuous Measurement using Proprietary data tracking complimented with first party data demonstrating ad effectiveness through completed applications in real time.


The campaign's effectiveness was evident in its impressive results:

  • A 10.96% uplift in application engagement nationally, indicating a significant increase in interest among potential applicants.

  • A 50% reduction in cost per acquisition, showcasing the campaign's cost-effectiveness and efficient use of resources.

  • Averaging 3.6 days from initial touchpoint to application, demonstrating the campaign's ability to rapidly convert interest into action.


JACK RYAN continues to work with First as their national agency, expanding the campaign's reach. The ongoing efforts aim to inspire a broader audience, including those not actively seeking driving careers, thereby continuing to deliver on campaign objectives and reinforcing First Group's position as a leading employer in the public transport sector.

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