When it comes to memorable marketing, capturing the right voice with your brand can make or break a new campaign. One company that frequently demonstrates success in this area is Caltrans. With their initial campaign, which first used the tagline “Slow for the cone zone,” Caltrans uses both easy to remember wordplay and strategic branding to capture the attention of drivers. The most recent campaign (Pictured Above) uses a combination of emotional imagery and graphic design to promote safe working conditions for highway construction workers. In this blog, we’ll break down the ways that Caltrans’ everyday marketing is not only eye catching but effective.
Everyday Marketing Decoded
When you’re driving down Capital City Freeway, it’s not the message that first captures your attention. The effective marketing is the bright orange message underneath the faces of adorable children wearing worker’s caps. The image in itself is both out of the ordinary and understandable. The message rings strong and clear with eye popping design. The orange is both non-abrasive but bright while parried with a complimentary blue. Similarly, the childlike handwriting adds an emotional undertone to the billboard. When combined, these elements provide an intriguing image that inspires drivers to read on and more importantly, follow the message. The graphics inspire drivers to pay a little more attention to the road.
Without something to draw consumers’ attention to your product or message, the story never gets told. However, once you get the eyes on your campaign, it’s important to tell a story to create effective marketing campaigns. In the billboard, the children are clearly explaining that their mother is working on the road. The message rings clear: drive cautiously, every construction worker is a mother, father, brother, son, daughter…etc. The emotionally charged story displayed with professional graphics makes the message stick in a passerby’s head.
Branding and Logo Placement
On the billboard, there are several different representations of effective marketing that help consumers attach a company to a message. First, the branding is placed in 3 separate locations. There are the 3 logos of associate companies on the right and then the logos of Caltrans placed strategically on the caps worn by the children. This makes it easy to recognize even as a passerby is driving fairly quickly. The simplicity and strategic placement are essential when it comes to short attention spans and an even shorter amount of time to make an impression.
Another essential part of branding is that Caltrans validates their message with the Office of Transportation Safety and the California Highway Patrol logos. These easily recognized logos create a feeling of responsibility in people driving by because each carries a sense of authority. Effective marketing is made up of brands and companies with authority in their product. Without being a leader, a story is just a string of words rather than an impressionable message that encourages action.
There are two major factors that went into the placement of the billboard: audience awareness and audience location. The sign is placed right along a large majority of Sacramento professional’s commute. The audience is most likely made up of parents due to age demographic of commuters. This means the message is tailored to strike a chord with them as they head to work. It becomes effective marketing because there is a sense of community in the tagline—“Be alert, our mom’s at work.” Viewers are leaving their children at home for their workday; they connect with the construction workers who do the same.
Right as these signs appeared in Sacramento, construction on Highway 50 began. Not only is the information being sold to a particular audience, it’s relevant. Many companies in need of marketing have specific audiences but furthermore, there is a right and a wrong time to reach that audience. Effective marketing is taking the open window to achieve your goals.
Where does Admail West Come In?
At Admail West, we create these types of campaigns. From branding and storytelling to audience targeting, our team takes an all encompassing approach to integrated marketing. Success in marketing means taking all faucets of a campaign into consideration and making informed decisions. For an effective marketing campaign that gets results, contact our expert team at Admail West.
Photo credit: California Department of Transportation