Jacht creates new campaign for Lincoln Public Works

Jacht creates new campaign for Lincoln Public Works

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - 7:15am
The new logo for the Lincoln bus system
The new campaign for Lincoln Public Works focuses on gaining greater millennial ridership by increasing their understanding of public transportation.

by Savanah Baker

Jacht Ad Lab, the student-run communications firm in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, partnered with Lincoln Public Works (LPW) to tackle a ridership issue for the Lincoln bus system. 

Jacht has created a campaign for LPW in time for a hard-launch on Nov. 4 in conjunction with Lincoln’s First Friday. The Star Shuttle Service will have rides free of charge from 6-8 p.m. and anyone who rides during that time will be entered to win prizes to different popular spots in Lincoln. People can also attend an event taking place in Tower Square (13th St. and P St.) where KFRX will be broadcasting live and visitors can get info on the newest bus routes.

“This is one of Jacht’s biggest projects ever and I feel really honored that the city trusted us with this,” said Amy Struthers, professor at the CoJMC and founder of Jacht. “It’s a great partnership between education and city government and everyone can be really proud of it.”

“Working with everyone at Jacht has been fun and exciting as they are all very talented and full of contagious enthusiasm,” said Kitty Elliot, administrative aide and marketing for Star Tran. “We think everything they have designed and the rationale behind all of the pieces is great, and (we) are pleased and impressed with their designs and expertise.”

LPW approached Jacht in the spring of 2016 because of the creativity and enthusiasm of the students, as well as being within their working budget. LPW asked Jacht to develop a new campaign for the Lincoln bus system that would create a fresh identity for the buses and increase ridership amongst millennials in Lincoln.

“The bus had a negative stigma and perception around the city of Lincoln, so they wanted us to freshen it up and make it seem cool and exciting again,” said senior advertising and public relations major Emma Hanson, the account executive of the LPW campaign.

According to research conducted by Jacht, millennials also weren’t riding the bus because of the use of their personal cars. The strategy they came up with resulted in the campaign’s mantra, “No keys. No commitment.”

“We’re creating an integrated marketing campaign that includes among other things, social media videos, a bus wrap and a lot of signage to hit on why the bus is a good alternative to your car. We’re highlighting that we know you’re not going to throw your keys away but you should consider the bus as another option in your transportation toolkit,” Hanson said.

Hanson noted that in addition to their negative stigma of the bus, millennials’ lack of education on how to use the public transportation system was another issue that had to be addressed. In response, one component of the campaign is a “rider guide.” This guide offers tips and information on how to ride the bus, make connections and which routes will help riders get to where they need to be.

Seniors Carlos Velasco and Michael Johnson worked as the primary designers of the rider guide.

“It’s a booklet that will be available on the bus with information on the necessities of how to ride the bus,” Velasco said. “It presents all of this information in a simple booklet you can carry around with you.”

Johnson agreed. She said, "“One thing I worked hard to do as a designer was to make the guide very intuitive and accessible— something that new riders could flip open and easily find and understand whatever info they needed.”

Videos will supplement the rider guide and be posted on the LPW Facebook and Instagram pages. The goal is to help millennials feel more comfortable riding the bus. Hanson said the rider guide and tutorials offer a quick and easy way to get answers to questions that millennials may be too embarrassed to ask.

The hardest part of working on this project is the turnover rate among Jacht students. Jacht is offered each semester, which results in new faces coming into a project that is already underway. Over 13 students are currently working on the LPW campaign and many others have worked on it in past semesters.

“Having so many different people working on the campaign and being in one of those transitional positions where you come in the fall and have to be ready to pick up where everyone else left off made the biggest challenge…getting a feel for the campaign and building on it based on what everyone else has done,” said Alex Mabry, a senior advertising and public relations student and the designer who worked on the bus wrap for the campaign.