That may seem an odd sentiment for a creative agency. Especially since there is nothing we enjoy more than taking words and pictures and bringing them to life in new and exciting ways. But we do expect our creations to turn people’s heads. And we love it when what we created sticks with our audience, and changes they way they think.
We just found out that this year we turned more heads than even anyone had anticipated for The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). They asked us to use Rideshare Week to kick off a first-ever, year-long, cohesive, sustainable alternative transportation message that would excite commuters about using OCTA’S alternative transportation initiatives. We made it our goal to get solo commuters out of their cars and into busses, trains, vanpools, carpools, biking walking. Specifically OCTA asked us to increase participation in their annual Rideshare Week program by 15% – a 5% increase over their previous year’s increase of 10%.
“No problem,” we lied, and we immediately set out to solve the problem. We scoured OCTA’s Awareness and Attitudes Studies, boarding reports, ridership trends, boardings, StationLink routes, and National Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) studies. Bit by bit we laid the foundation for the core message that would unite all the promotions, marketing events, materials and interactive resources for this year-long campaign. Taking our cue from TCRP studies, we designed this campaign to appeal to commuters directly, (rather than corporate transportation coordinators) for maximum impact.
To attract commuters from all walks of life, we created a heroic silhouette that was ageless and raceless: an illustrated everyman who set the style and branding image for all the promotions to come for the rest of the year. All the graphic elements promoting the Rideshare program were designed to be visually stimulating, compelling and memorable. Simple yet elegant icons of transportation gave equal weight to all the alternative transportation options.
OCTA named the hero image the “Ridesharer.” This campaign image appeared in all media, in print, on busses, on workplace posters, postcards and handouts, as well as on the web, on Powerpoint presentations and in email blasts, to reinforce the central message of empowerment no matter where the audience was or where they were looking.
Additionally, in accordance with the TCRP findings, OCTA’s VanPool effort was made easier for commuters with our interactive Seatfinder application which made joining existing vanpools and establishing new VanPools vastly easier.
When all of the figures were compiled and analyzed, the overall effectiveness of the 2011 Rideshare Promotion Campaign was remarkable. There was a 134% increase in pledges over the previous year, and it turned out to be the most effective Rideshare promotion ever. As an added bonus, vanpool participation nearly doubled even before the beginning of the vanpool week promotion.
Speaking from a “creative” point of view, impact is what it's all about.