Management & Operations

Chicago launches multi-year, multi-agency ad campaign

Posted on January 22, 2015

The Chicago Regional Transportation Authority, in conjunction with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace Suburban Bus, is launching a multi-year marketing campaign to improve public awareness and perception of public transportation, and to attract new transit riders, to the system in the RTA’s six-county region.

The transit agencies’ “Ride On” campaign highlights the benefits and convenience of riding public transit in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties — juxtaposed against the challenges drivers face in the more than eight-million resident region. The campaign targets riders who could take transit during non-peak hours, such as visitors, tourists, older adults and reverse commuters.

The ads in the campaign — developed by Chicago-based Downtown Partners Communications Inc. — will be seen on cable television, online and on digital billboards throughout the region over a two-and-a-half year period. The campaign launched in early January 2015 and will continue through summer 2017.

The ads highlight the shared “real life pain points” of driving versus taking transit on the nation’s second largest transit system by passenger miles traveled.

The RTA will closely monitor the success of the ads, by tracking ad performance and measuring the behavioral and attitudinal impacts of the campaign. The highly digital nature of the campaign allows flexibility to adjust the ads and the media used to assure reach and effectiveness. The RTA board of directors unanimously approved the $5 million campaign in May 2014.

The ads kicking off the program are below.

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