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AdWheel Awards Honor Members for Communications and Marketing Efforts

The AdWheel Awards recognize the marketing and communications efforts of APTA’s members and showcase the strategic value of communications and marketing in the industry.

Public transportation systems and businesses compete for Grand Awards against their peer group, based on number of annual passenger trips or in the separate business member group. The 2016 awards will be presented at a special ceremony Sept. 12, during the Annual Meeting. This year, more than 150 entries were judged by 60 industry experts to produce 11 Grand Award winners in the following three categories:

Campaigns to Increase Ridership or Sales
Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority for its Regional Consumer Marketing Campaign, “Ride On.” This campaign associates public transportation with maximizing riders’ time, money and lifestyle and humorously highlights the frustrations of driving. It uses a variety of media including TV, radio, billboards, print, digital display, video, events/street teams and social media, with Facebook advertising alone resulting in 26 million impressions and half a million uses of the RTA Trip Planner.

Connecticut DOT for CTfastrak Marketing. This effort—which introduced a new BRT system using various media, including television and radio—has been cited as a success story by the governor and state DOT commissioner. Ridership on CTfastrak in the month after the campaign launch was 14.2 percent higher than the month prior to the launch.

Southern California Regional Rail Authority for the Metrolink Antelope Valley Line 2015 Fare Reduction Marketing Campaign. The success of a six-month pilot program encouraged agency leaders to extend the fare reduction offer another six months, resulting in a successful launch of a new fare initiative that encouraged more local trips and increased ridership by 16.4 percent.

PAVLOV Advertising Agency for its Client Acquisition Campaign, which led to increased activity on the agency’s social media and website. The campaign had two goals: to introduce PAVLOV’s new transit account director and to roll out an awareness campaign to the industry.

Campaigns to Highlight Transit Needs/Funding
Fort Worth Transportation Authority for the FWTA Transit Master Plan Campaign. This effort encompasses strategic goals to establish The T as a transportation leader in the community. It has sparked conversations about transit needs in Fort Worth via events, digital marketing and traditional advertising, creating greater awareness of the community’s transit needs and funding requirements.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority for Envision Silicon Valley Public Engagement. This multi-year effort showcases how innovative digital community engagement tools can be integrated with traditional techniques to highlight public transit needs. The approach broadened public understanding and involvement and let people “learn by doing” on an interactive, multilingual microsite that produced more than 740,000 sessions and 900,000 page views from more than 194,000 users.

Ventura County Transportation Commission for the VCTC Education and Awareness Campaign, “The Future of Ventura County is in Your Hands.” After three months, the campaign generated 69 percent support for a transportation sales tax in Ventura County and showcased the best of public transportation—the need, the value and the possibilities—with a comprehensive, strategic and efficient effort that targeted messaging to a large population.

Educational Campaigns
Denver’s Regional Transportation District for its campaign, “With 4 New Rail Lines, 2016 Is Going to Be Big.” The advertising campaign was eye-catching and easy to remember, resulting in an increased awareness of the A, B, G and R Line names, colors and project details. This comprehensive campaign generated 141 million impressions across a wide array of media and familiarized riders and others in the community with the openings in 2016.

EMBARK in Oklahoma City for “Say Hi to Free Wi-Fi.” The agency created a small but mighty campaign that advanced its ForwardTogether plans and spurred many opportunities to reach new audiences using its Wi-Fi service as a way to promote transit and engage the public at fairs and events with bus-based Wi-Fi serving as a hotspot. Using a data-driven strategy, agency staff developed a result-oriented campaign that helped boost ridership, elevate the status of the agency and build community support.

The Rapid (Interurban Transit Partnership), Grand Rapids, MI, for “There’s More to the Ride,” which educated community residents about the merits of public transportation through simple, powerful, consistent and positive messages. The Rapid has elevated public awareness by reaching 85 percent of the target audience 5-7 times per month. The Rapid is going beyond a transactional “getting from point A to point B” thinking and presenting a value proposition that transcends the traditional numbers about ridership and cost per trip.

BYD Motors Inc. for “Happy Employees Make Greener Buses.” This video campaign helped increase the number of people applying for jobs at BYD and created ways to connect people: people building the buses with people riding buses, community leaders with the organization, and BYD with other community and industry leaders.
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