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New Ads Aim to Persuade More Atlanta-area Millennials to Consider Using Transit – and No Joke, They’re Funny

Posted on: Mar 08, 2016

How do you convince more Millennials (ages 20-34) to give transit a shot? The Atlanta region’s transit providers and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) have joined forces to develop a digital marketing campaign that uses humor to deliver the message: Riding transit is much less stressful than driving.

Visit the atltransit YouTube channel to view more ads.

We sat down with Janae Futrell, a senior principal planner with ARC’s Mobility Services Division, to get details about this first-ever regional campaign, which launches on March 10.

Q: Why did this group develop a marketing campaign aimed at Millennials?

A: The region’s transit providers – MARTA, GRTA, bus systems in Cobb, Gwinnett and Cherokee, and the Atlanta Streetcar – believe there’s a sizable, untapped market of young people who could be riding more often.

For example, about 22 percent of people who live near a suburban park-and-ride lot are Millennials. But this age group makes up a much smaller percentage of regional bus system riders. We are working to close this gap.

Nationally, Millennials are delaying getting their drivers’ licenses and postponing car purchases, and recent studies (here and here) indicate that Millennials are more apt to embrace transit than older generations.

Q: What do you hope to achieve?

A: Our goal is to raise awareness about the region’s transit network and open people’s minds to the possibility of using transit more often.

We also want to spread the word about, a terrific online tool that’s been redesigned to make it even easier for people to navigate the region’s transportation systems. The site helps users find routes, understand fare payments and get tips for things like transferring between transit providers. 

Q: What do the ads say?

The region’s transit providers and ARC have developed an ad campaign that uses humor to convince more people to ride transit.

A: The message, in a nutshell: try transit, because it’s so much less stressful than driving. The spots are really funny. We hope that humor helps us reach a large number of people.

When we convened focus groups, we found stress relief to be at the top of the list when talking about the benefits of transit. Let’s face it, navigating rush-hour traffic can be a nail-biting experience. Many people arrive at work already exhausted. On the bus or train, you can read, answer email, play Candy Crush or just zone out.

Q: How long will the campaign last, and where will the ads be shown?

A: The campaign will run for eight weeks and includes YouTube videos, web banner ads and social media content. We even developed posters for businesses to hang up in break rooms.

Q: Why run this campaign now?

The newly redesigned makes it easy to navigate the region’s transit systems.

A: New web and mobile tools make navigating the region’s transit system so much easier. Our regional transit website makes it a snap to figure out how to get from, say, Marietta to Midtown or downtown Atlanta. Just type in your starting address and destination — and then plan your next trip.