With an outdated look and feel, the Visalia City Coach was in desperate need of a re-brand. With new clean-air buses on the way, and a commitment to provide stellar service to the community, the city of Visalia’s transit division had a story to tell—and we were eager to help them do it.
Committed to making an impact with limited resources, Archer & Hound did what Archer & Hound does—creativity. Sure, we could have just designed a new logo and come up with a new name, but… that’s boring. Instead, we wanted to build a movement behind public transportation itself, and thereby convince people to purposefully choose public transportation, or feel good about riding the bus, even if it was a necessity.
We designed a three-phase campaign around the core values of public transportation: environmental benefits, community benefits, and rider appreciation.
Phase One: Create Some Buzz
We began promoting the local annual Earth Day event with a simple green footprint symbol and the tagline, “We’re making an impression,” driving people to a promotional website with more information and to sign up for the Earth Day clean-up event. When residents saw green painted footprints on the sidewalks outside Starbucks, the Fox Theatre, the high schools, walking trails, and the libraries, they flocked to the website in droves to see what it was all about.
Phase Two: The Big Event
With a new database full of interested visitors, we continued targeted marketing efforts pushing the Earth Day event where we would unveil the new public transportation brand and the new clean fleet. The event was the largest on record, with nearly 400 volunteers present. City leaders and volunteers were asked to paint their feet green and “make an impression” on large banners to symbolize their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint.
Phase Three: Make It Personal
Finally, we rolled out an ad campaign highlighting city leaders, well-known residents, and frequent riders, reframing public transportation as an opportunity as opposed to an obligation to “make an impression” within the local community.
We designed a successful three-phase campaign around the core values of public transportation: environmental benefits, community benefits, and rider appreciation. Ridership increased, and the refreshed brand has allowed for Visalia Transit to add and adjust over time without losing authenticity.