Surrounded by water and rapidly growing, southeastern Virginia’s Hampton Roads area needed another tunnel crossing for the Elizabeth River to alleviate traffic. To pay for it; however, the Virginia Department of Transportation needed to charge tolls, and without enough space for booths, it needed to sell a lot of E-ZPasses.
The hitch? Because the area didn’t have many toll roads, very few people knew anything about the E-ZPass system. So, in collaboration with another area firm, we ran a public education campaign.
First, we focused on providing information about the tunnel improvements, related community benefits, and construction. Then, we turned our focus to producing radio copy, TV ads, online banners, outdoor digital banners, and newspaper ads to increase E-ZPass sales.
VDOT hoped to sell 75,000 new transponders by February 1 of the tunnel’s opening year. Instead, they sold 86,000, and after three more months, that number had climbed to 144,000 — almost twice the original goal.
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