The Center of Science and Industry (COSI), a world-class science museum and research center, is a Columbus, Ohio institution. The COSI Science Festival, Ohio’s largest STEM event, is an annual four-day festival complete with community events, such as educational talks and nature walks, as well as a celebration at the museum with over 100 exhibitor stations demonstrating hands-on science. This cherished event reinforces the importance of STEM in our everyday lives and helps to educate and build excitement about science.
The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) believes in the science of moving every life forward, and we understand how intersectional STEM and transportation are, so partnering with COSI for the annual Science Festival was a natural fit. As the official ride sponsor, COTA offered all attendees of the Science Festival ride credits to get to COSI for free. Breaking down transportation barriers is what we do, and we wanted to ensure that everyone had the opportunity to learn and have fun at the festival. In addition to encouraging attendance at the event and providing free rides, this campaign gave COTA the opportunity to educate future riders and their parents about the positive impact they can have on the environment by riding public transit.
The “Science of Movement” campaign started with a landing page on COTA.com with all the details to help customers use the Transit app and ride COTA to get to the Science Festival. We drove customers to the landing page with digital ads, bus placards, billboards, static social posts and videos. We deployed an email campaign, and we even wrapped an entire bus with messaging encouraging riders to “discover a smarter ride to COSI.”
At the core of this campaign was a four-video series highlighting the intersection of science and transportation at COTA. We ideated, scripted and produced four videos featuring some extraordinary kid actors talking about COTA’s sustainability and innovation efforts. These efforts include water conservation (using recycled water for our special bus wash), clean air (reducing vehicle emissions with the power of electric vehicles), paperless payment (using the Transit app for trip planning and digital payment) and waste reduction (recycling all cardboard at COTA). In addition to circulating these videos on social media, we also gave them a home on YouTube and on our website.
In less than one month, COTA’s “Science of Movement” campaign delivered 1,669,647 paid media impressions. On social media, the campaign generated over 748,700 impressions and over 75,500 engagements across channels. The videos in particular received largely positive engagement, and when users inquired about COTA’s commitment to sustainability, it offered us the chance to educate customers on the importance of our sustainability initiatives via active, candid conversations. Most importantly, we recorded a 7,400% increase in use of ride credits compared to our last collaboration with COSI, meaning more families were able to access the Science Festival than ever before.