Cruising on the Integrated Communications Bus With Jefferson Lines

Jefferson Lines — a 92-year-old bus company that provides passenger service throughout the nation's heartland — was suffering from brand atrophy. Bus ridership was flat even when the cost of gasoline was setting all-time highs. Jefferson's leadership knew the company needed to rev up its marketing program in order to get consumers excited again about riding the bus, and turned to Padilla Speer Beardsley for help.

We started with an in-depth Communicating For ActionSM session with Jefferson, closely examining the demographics and psychographics of current customers, and evaluating primary market research to gauge customer attitudes about riding the bus. Padilla identified two key audiences: college students/young adults and "young at heart" seniors, age 55-plus. A comprehensive, integrated marketing campaign was developed that zeroed in on the two target audiences and, simultaneously, brought Jefferson into the 21st century.

The branding, advertising and public relations campaign included a series of radio ads, traditional and online newspaper ads, sponsorship of local events, website redesign, new graphics for all of its buses, and awareness of new service routes to multiple cities.

The campaign generated nearly 25 million impressions — all in important, key markets, and the new brand identity gave Jefferson an updated look and vibrant personality. More importantly, the campaign helped bring about a double-digit increase in online and telephone ticket sales.

Case Study


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