By Jessica Baker, Eller Marketing ’15
This semester, the students of Ed Ackerly’s MKTG 425: Advertising Management class continued to work for the City of Tucson on a real-world project designed to build awareness of the Sun Link Streetcar among their peers.
On October 16, the students presented a promotional campaign they developed for the Sun Link Streetcar to Tucson mayor Jonathan Rothschild. The presentation included a complete overview of their informational campaign.
At the start of the meeting, the MKTG 425 team unveiled their theme, It’s Go Time. The theme focuses on where you’re able to go by riding the streetcar, and ties to Sun Link’s message: “It’s going my way.” The team realized the need for increased brand awareness after questioning 250 students who weren’t well informed about the streetcar. The team is charged with building awareness among students of the Sun Link pass purchasing process, especially through Bursars, as well as the combined ability to ride the Sun Tran with the purchase of a Sun Link pass.
The campaign will emphasize the ease with which students are now able to attend events, especially downtown, for instance, Ice Cats games. The students are working to build buzz around the first Ice Cats game on October 30 and the UA vs. ASU game December 5.
Throughout Homecoming week, the class will focus on building brand awareness by concentrating on the combined event parking and transportation scheduled for Bear Down Friday. Homecoming week also features the re-opening of Bursars for students on November 7 and 8. Additionally, by using the Arizona Ambassadors Program, the MKTG 425 team will build awareness for incoming freshman by focusing on the new ability for off-campus travel. This not only adds value for the incoming students, but also for parents, knowing their children will have access to resources without needing a car.
The It’s Go Time promotion heavily relies on social media, and the class presented plans to make a viral video series, as well as updating current websites and creating Facebook events.
Mayor Rothschild explained the critical need for Sun Link to succeed and described the goal of 10,000 passes to be sold annually. He introduced two resources for the MKTG 425 team, Candi Young of the Sun Link marketing department and Shelly Ginn of the City of Tucson Parking and Transportation, who answered the class’s questions and tackled issues they are likely to face as they refine and implement their plans.
This semester, the advertising management class will continue to build brand awareness for the Sun Link Streetcar. The class has already secured sponsorship from Next Level Apartments, and hopes to gain more support from local restaurants and businesses on the Sun Link route.
Top image of MKTG 425 students with Tucson mayor Jonathan Rothschild courtesy Jordan Ruditys.