Circulator Rebranding Project


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As part of the Masters of Communications program at The Johns Hopkins University.

Final project for Advertising and Branding Class where we were asked to rebrand the local bus line.

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  • Demographics:35–49 29.4%; 25–34 26.9%; 18–24 17.6%; 50–65 17.1%; 65+ 4.7%
  • Circulator Rebranding Project

    1. 1. Final Group Presentation The DC Circulator Bus
    2. 2. Goals and Objectives• Increase ridership by 10% in the summer and 5% overall• Increase awareness of the DC Circulator through targeted outreach and advertising• Rebrand the Circulator as an easy, fun and Hi! I’m the DC convenient way to see DC Circulator
    3. 3. Circulator Background• Owned by a public-private partnership that includes the District of Columbia, Department of Transportation, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and the DC Surface Transit, Inc.• 91.9% say they would recommend Circulator to a friend• Established: July 2005• Downtown Business Improvement District championed its implementation
    4. 4. Features and Benefits• $1 for every ride• 5 distinct routes• Buses run every 10 minutes• Later hours on weekends What else can you get• Cleaner, more comfortable buses for $1?• Easily identifiable buses and stops
    5. 5. Research Performed• On-the-street interviews• Circulator’s demographics• Competitive Analysis• Online Survey
    6. 6. On-the-street Interviews • Three categories of interviews: locals, “local” tourists and tourists • Of the locals, 66% had taken the Circulator at least once; 50% have taken the Circulator regularly • None of the tourists had heard of the Circulator • Reasons for not taking the bus: unfamiliar with the routes, perceive buses to be unreliable, inconvenient • Reasons for taking the bus: like being able to see outside and inexpensive (tourists); routes are convenient and don’t have a car (locals) • Tourists planned trips online (top reason) or by personal recommendationNote: 18 in person interviews October 24, 2009
    7. 7. Field Research
    8. 8. Usage Demographics 40% 37 % % 34 .5 0 35% 34 % Why do you ride the 30% 26 % DC Circulator Bus? 25% 20% 15% 10% 10 % 5% 0% l na ine tio k or d /D ea te W op cr ol ela m ho Sh Re ro k-R Sc ef or m ut W ro m ef m Co ut m m CoSource:
    9. 9. Usage Demographics Average length of trip: < 5 Blocks 5-10 Blocks > 10 Blocks Month by Month Average Usage: January – 11,537 April – 15,999 July – 18,696 October – 16,483 February – 11,024 May – 11,537 August – 19,334 November – 13,856 March – 14,944 June – 17,118 September – 16,021 December – 13,310Source:
    10. 10. Competitive AnalysisOld Town Trolley Tours Metro Rail• “Frequent” pick up schedule • 5 Major lines• Adult $35, Child $18 (1 day pass) • Variable cost: $1.35-$3.30• 1 Route, includes 19 stops from Union Station to Chinatown • Features: late hours Friday-Sunday• Features: night tours • No traffic • Runs every 8-15 minutesWashington DC Hop-On-Hop-Off Open-Top Double Decker Bus• Arrives every 15 minutes• Adult $42, Child $19.95• 1 circulatory route starting at Union Station Metro Bus • Over 400 routes• Best view from 14 feet up - and no windows on top – DC: 95• Comfortable seats – MD: 202• Entertaining and informative narration – VA: 118• 2.5 hour full tour of Washington, DC • Runs every 10-45 minutes • Variable cost: $1.25-1.35
    11. 11. Online Survey• Over half of the respondents live in the Washington, DC metro area (66%). This is our primary target audience. 34% of the respondents do not live in the DC area (34%). This is our secondary target audience (tourists).• Almost all of the people (90%) who have ridden the Circulator said the experience met or exceeded their expectations.• Of the people who have not ridden the bus, the most prevalent reason was that they had not heard of it. Others stated that they believed the routes or times were inconvenient or that they thought buses were unsanitary.• People who rode the bus did so because they believed the price was right and the routes are convenient.• Respondents most often heard about the bus from a personal recommendation or by seeing it on street.
    12. 12. Primary Audience • People who live in the DC metropolitan area (DC, Virginia, and Maryland) • In the last year 4.3 out of the 5 million people who live in the DC metro area have taken public transportation* • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the following percentages of residents commute via public transportation: Welcome to – 39% in DC DC! – 9% in MD – 4% in VA • DC is the second most traffic-congested city in the country***Source: CBS Outdoor Advertising **Source: The Washington Post
    13. 13. Secondary Audience • Tourists (including local tourists) • A large population uses the bus for recreation (37%) or shopping (34.5%) • 15 million people visit Washington, DC annually generating $5.24 billion dollars in revenue* • The bus line highlights access to attractions, dining, shopping, and other attractions, making the tourist audience a natural target*Source: Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Center website
    14. 14. Recommendations• Messaging• Branding• Advertising Samples• Media Plan Let’s get to work!
    15. 15. Key Messages• Convenient: Five routes that run between DC’s hottest destinations, including sights, restaurants, museums and shopping• Cheap: For only $1 per ride, the DC Circulator bus is the cheapest public transportation available• Fast: Buses come every 10 minutes, so you’re never left wondering when your bus will arrive
    16. 16. Brand Personality & Essence• Fun• Hip Welcome!• Easy• Friendly The DC Circulator: Convenient, Cheap, and Easy
    17. 17. Brand Positioning StatementFor locals and tourists, the DC Circulator is thetransportation option that delivers the least expensive,easiest, and most convenient way to see DC’s hotspotsbecause it’s the only bus to offer five straightforwardroutes for $1 each I’m cheap and easy.
    18. 18. TaglineCONNECTING DC’S HOTSPOTS• Emphasizes how the Circulator’s routes hit all the major tourist and entertainment locations in DC Let’s hit• Connecting reinforces the the town! transportation element• Hotspots refers to the core rebranding element of fun
    19. 19. Website - Home Page
    20. 20. Website - Meet the Circulator
    21. 21. Website - Tours Page
    22. 22. Media PlanTwo aggregated psychographic audiences: Planners andSpontaneous Riders banner ads (Planners) On average each user consumes more than 13 pages and spends more than 11 minutes1 per month on the site More than 1.1 million video views per month Wall advertising (Spontaneous Riders) For example, CBS outdoor has space at 2007 18th Street, NW, in Adams Morgan, available for advertising As a stop on the Circulator line, Adams Morgan is a prime opportunity to grab spontaneous riders at a point where they could jump on the bus
    23. 23. Online Banner Ads
    24. 24. Ad #1
    25. 25. Ad #2
    26. 26. Ad #3
    27. 27. Contributors• Nicole: Creative Director, Content Developer• Erin: Field Researcher, Content Developer, Presentation Developer• Elise: Presentation Developer, Video Producer/Editor, Content Developer• Megan: Field Researcher/Videographer, Presentation Developer