Football fans rejoice! First Bus have released a new marketing film to celebrate their longstanding partnership with Aberdeen Football Club. First Bus are a transport partner to the club, offering free matchday travel to AFC fans within the city of Aberdeen. To promote this relationship First Bus commissioned Aberdeen video production company, Signal, to produce ‘Stand Free. Ride Free.

First Bus were keen to not do a ‘hard sell’. The film’s objective was to bring this partnership to life, capture the passion of AFC supporters, and reinforce their contribution to supporting communities in the city; both AFC and First Bus perform a crucial role in uniting Aberdonians from all walks of life.

Signal created a story that would place Aberdeen fans at the heart of the film, within the narrative of a bus journey. The story follows a young girl, ‘Millie’, and her grandfather, keen fans of Aberdeen FC, travelling to a game. The film starts with them catching the bus in Mastrick then travelling through various parts of the city (following the real Route 13) and collecting more fans on its way to Pittodrie Stadium. Soon the bus is filled with a colourful cross section of supporters from different parts of the city. This includes the AFC club mascot, Angus the Bull, who is running late for the match. While Grandpa reminisces about taking the bus to games when he was a child, Millie is just excited to see her hero, midfielder Leighton Clarkston, on the pitch. What happens when they reach the stadium is even better!

“Stand Free. Ride Free.” was filmed entirely on board one of First Bus’s electric vehicles, over two days, with a cast of ten. It took several weeks of detailed planning, scripting, sourcing of potential locations, bus routes, and casting.

Signal’s Creative Director, Mark Turner, said, “We were very excited to work on this project. Many of our projects are more direct in their messaging. We were grateful that First Bus wanted to do something emotive – that told a story - and trusted us to do it. It’s fun to work on a drama like this anyway, but our crew are keen football fans. Meeting the club mascot was a dream come true!”

And this is not the first time Signal have filmed on buses. Turner says, “Signal have have done it for NorthLink Ferries, Kings coaches, and a very memorable experience for Bright Bus Tours in Edinburgh, travelling on an open-topped bus with a talking dog”.

Created for digital platforms, ‘Stand Free. Ride Free.’ was released simultaneously on both First Bus’s and Aberdeen Football Club’s social media channels, in January 2024.

You can watch the ‘Stand Free. Ride Free.’ here.

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