StarMetro, the public transportation provider in Tallahassee, Florida was preparing to launch five all-electric buses for the system. The busses operate from a single electric charge and tout zero emissions as a result. As this first transit system in the state to implement this technology, it would be important to educate local taxpayers about the kickoff of this fiscally responsible, environmentally-friendly and cutting-edge initiative. BowStern was hired to develop and launch a campaign which would raise awareness of this high-profile initiative amongst local Tallahassee residents.
In an effort to keep the launch under wraps while the buses were in plain view (during the four-week “on the road” testing phase) the team developed a teaser campaign to strategically introduce the all-electric technology. The teaser tag “Buzz so Big We Can’t Hide It” was developed, giving a nod to the electric current and making light of the fact that we couldn’t physically hide the new bus prior to the formal launch of service.
We asked residents to engage with StarMetro via social media using the hashtag #MysteryBus whenever they spotted one of these under cover vehicles on the roadway. In addition to the exterior bus graphics, the teaser campaign was deployed through a series of high-visibility tactics, including a utility bill insert, eblasts, posters for local businesses and social media. A dedicated website was also developed to engage residents in a community-wide contest while building up excitement surrounding the mysterious launch. Residents could find StarMetro codes throughout the community and then redeem online for local prizes.
To formally launch service of the electric buses, a press event showcasing new buses was executed. Each of the five buses was wrapped with a unique message showcasing bus benefits and a custom hashtag to encourage social sharing and conversation. This light-hearted approach to educate proved successful, as the response from the community and industry leaders was overwhelmingly positive.
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