EdVenture, Transit Agency Look To College Kids For Ideas

With green marketing all the rage, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is looking to revamp its image as an eco-friendly alternative for Gen Y consumers via an ad contest.

The Washington, D.C.-based organization, which represents mass-transit systems around the country, has teamed with EdVenture Partners -- the same people who helped Chevy craft a Super Bowl ad last year with the help of advertising students -- to develop Green Means Go: The American Public Transportation Association Campus Challenge, according to EdVenture.

Beginning in January, the program will involve advertising students at universities in 10 markets to develop an environmentally friendly ad strategy that will look to educate and persuade 18-to-25 year olds to use mass transit. They will be looking to create 5-, 10- and 30-second radio spots, as well as a story board for a 30-second television commercial.

Campuses include Portland State University in Portland, Ore., the University of Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Georgia State in Atlanta, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, the University of New Mexico and the Art Institute schools in Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, and Indianapolis, says Tony Srgo, CEO of EdVenture Partners. The markets were chosen either because the local mass-transit systems are vital to the local economies, need improvement or will be particularly amenable to a green positioning.



"The students will take the overarching objective, but will then tailor it to their local markets," Srgo tells Marketing Daily. The teams with the top two plans for their local mass-transit systems will be flown to Washington to present their ideas to APTA executives.

The APTA is using the competition as a way to reach out to a younger audience that may be looking for more altruistic reasons to ride mass transit, Srgo says. It chose to partner with EdVenture for enlisting a more traditional youth marketing agency because of the freedom students have to come up with ideas, he adds. "What we've seen come out of the minds of students, normal agencies can't touch."

Last year, EdVenture partnered with General Motors to have students create a television spot promoting Chevrolet's line of cars. The winning commercial, created by University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee student Katie Crabb, ran during the Super Bowl earlier this year.

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