Marketing Issues



What Would a Ropeway Look Like in Your Hometown? Try Doppelmayr’s Ropeway Configurator

Select, colour and reposition cabins and stations in any background.

Select, colour and reposition cabins and stations with 360-degree mobility.

Last year, Doppelmayr introduced a ropeway configurator”, which anyone can sign up for and try out. It’s a simple suite of online tools you use to visualize key elements of a virtual cable car system. The configurator’s utility is limited but it does provide a great way to begin conversations about creating real ropeways.

In other words, if you’re considering a ropeway in your city — or pitching the idea of one — Doppelmayr has provided this tool for you to compose visual guides for your next meeting and presentation. (A warning: the tool is a lot of fun to use.)


The instruction manual calls them ‘models’. They’re the key elements, to be found in a dropdown menu from a ‘+’ symbol. Choose a chair or cabin or one of two stations, then modify your model. It’s simple to move your model 360o in any direction, plus zoom in and out.

Choose from two available backgrounds or upload your own.

Choose from two available backgrounds or upload your own.

You can also colour a number of elements of your cabin and station. With dozens of pantones to choose from, you can select the one that best matches any of your corporate colours. Speaking of which, there’s also a tool that lets you add your logo to the cabin.


You can add any background to your project. The configurator is made by an alpine company and, understandably, both stations sit atop snowy hills. But there are two available backgrounds for all models, one of which is an overhead vista in a densely crowded city.

Best of all, you can upload your own background and fiddle with the controls to fit your cabin or station into the scene with surprising realism. The background supports JPG and even PNG files. So you can take quick screen shots from the Internet and test them for snap judgments.

Remember, any of these elements can be rotated 360 degrees and zoomed into or out of. So say you have a photograph of your city taken from the air. You can place the cabin overtop as though it were traversing local streets and you were watching it from above. You can create this picture in a couple of minutes.


The tools are intuitive and easy to operate.

The tools are intuitive and easy to operate.

If you’re unsure what to do at first, download this PDF of simple instructions for operation. They explain how to register and log in and how to use every available tool for a great experience. The tools also fairly common. So the processes will seem familiar and intuitive to most regular web users. The configurator allows you to store several projects on Doppelmayr’s site, so you can always return later to polish or retrieve your work. Try it now.

Materials on this page are paid for. Gondola Project (including its parent companies and its team of writers and contributors) does not explicitly or implicitly endorse third parties in exchange for advertising. Advertising does not influence editorial content, products, or services offered on Gondola Project.

Doppelmayr / Marketing Issues / New Ideas / Uncategorized
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Transported or Transmuted? The Other Side of Marketing Public Transit

Despite the many benefits of transit, it often does a poor job marketing itself. Image by Flickr user Todd Anderson.

Last week I talked here about the need to rethink public transit. This week, we return to the subject but from a different perspective. As a lifelong writer of advertising and marketing materials, I’ve always been interested in how people and industries are marketed (aka presented in the media). Advertising people like me are typically self-loathing lunatics and inveterate drunks. But we get off easy compared to public transit passengers. They’re usually sad little people with no power to change their lives. Last week I even mentioned the Italian word for commuter, pendolare or pendulum, which captures the powerlessness of someone being swung back and forth. In Britain, enthusiasts of public transit are called train spotters and, again, portrayed at best as lonely, creepy or just dangerous.

Of course, what do you expect when you see how horribly public transit itself is often portrayed? Let’s review a few examples.

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Marketing Issues / Marketing Public Transit
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Emirates Air Line: Success or Failure? It Depends

Emirates Air Line in London. Image by Flickr user snappyhopper. (Creative Commons)

Emirates Air Line in London. Image by Flickr user snappyhopper. (Creative Commons)

Over the holiday season, the British media picked up on the story that, apparently, the number of commuters on the Emirates Air Line has literally dropped to zero. Numerous publications (such as here, here, and here) argued this was evidence of the folly of the project and proof of how much of a white elephant it’s become. 

Sure. Okay. Fair enough.

The problem is that this white elephant is getting 20,000–30,000 riders every week. For those keeping track, that’s up to 1.5 million riders a year. Those aren’t white elephant numbers.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not the biggest fan of the Emirates Air Line, largely due to the fact that the capital costs of the system are so completely out-of-whack with industry norms. 

But what gets lost in this whole debate is that as a piece of tourism infrastructure, the system appears to be a success.

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Gears of War: Judgement – Video Games and Gondolas

Public transit and gondolas just never seem to catch a break. And when we thought we’ve seen it all — the Roosevelt Island Tram being attacked by the Punisher, the Sugarloaf Cable Car having its propulsion cable severed by Jaw’s teeth and an LA bus rigged with a ticking time bomb — we find out about the “Gondola Map” in the upcoming video game, Gears of War: Judgement.

Installments of this game sold over 6 million copies each, generating over $1 billion in sales over its lifetime. Image from

And if it just so happens that you’re not male and not between 8-35 years old, you probably have no idea what a “Gears of War” is. Well, to put it simply, it’s one of the best selling video games and franchises in Xbox history. In other words, millions of teenage boys and young men will soon play and experience what you will see in just a few seconds.

So without further adieu, I present you the “Gondola Map” tour (by the way, I love the ending quote).

Just what we need to make young men crave for urban gondola transit… right?



User-Controlled Smart Glass (Electrochromic Shades) on Boeing 787 and Lessons for Aerial Cable Cars

Throughout our time on the Gondola Project, we’ve seen many transport systems install smart glass windows (i.e. Morizo Gondola in Japan and Bukit Panjang LRT in Singapore). However, these systems did not offer users the ability to control when the glass becomes “frosted” nor the amount of “frostiness”.

Enter Boeing’s newest aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner. These planes now feature what they like to call, “electrochromic shades”.

Electrochromic Shades on Boeing 787. Image by Flickr user Jun Seita.

Passengers can now choose and adjust how transparent they want their windows to be (see video below). While the “electrochromic shades” term sounds a lot like a marketing buzz word, the company is quick to point out that this design was built to improve passenger comfort and fun. And who can doubt them? I’m not sure about you, but if I boarded a plane with this tinting system, I’d certainly let all my friends and family know about it.

This Boeing case study is a great example of how innovative companies and technologies are constantly undergoing minor upgrades to improve passenger experience — something that is often lacking in the field of public transit.

While user-controlled smart glass windows cannot and should not be replicated on all transit vehicles, this feature can certainly be translated into aerial gondola systems.

Giving passengers the option to adjust the level of brightness in a cabin may not convert hordes of auto commuters into transit riders, but perhaps anything that adds a bit of “personalization” and “fun” into the often dreary public space of a transit vehicle is a welcome site.



The Punisher Attacks The Roosevelt Tram

In our never-ending quest to document how the world of Hollywood fiction views cable cars and all mass transit as a mortal threat to your safety, we give you this:

Need we really say more about this?



Flash Mob on Copenhagen Metro

Just imagine if commuting via public transport was always this pleasant, there’d be no reason to ever drive again.

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Just For Fun / Marketing Issues
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