Each year, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) spends $41 million to remove the cigarette butts, fast food wrappers, coffee cups, and other trash littering the state's freeways and highways.
Caltrans hired Ogilvy PR to develop a campaign targeting those most likely to litter, men ages 18 to 34. The department wanted the effort to make it clear that the state did not tolerate pollution.
The campaign sought to raise awareness of the litter problem and change the attitude that there isn't anything people can do about it, says Christi Black, MD of Ogilvy's Sacramento, CA, office. Ogilvy worked with Caltrans to build relationships with private, government, and nonprofit organizations to spread the message, as well as on a community relations effort to reach people at home, work, and on the road.
Because of California's sheer size and scope, Ogilvy and Caltrans focused on activities beyond media, including partnerships, community events, and sports marketing. Ogilvy also created handouts and litter bags with the "Don't Trash California" slogan at places drivers often visit, such as gas stations. Ogilvy also developed online marketing and ads for Web sites drivers visit, as well as PSAs in five languages.
While measuring a reduction in litter is hard, Caltrans has been pleased with how the effort has blanketed the state. People are aware of the campaign, says Betty Sanchez, senior program manager at Caltrans. But it could take up to seven years to see an impact in behaviors and in litter. Surveys have shown that people are aware of the problem, thanks to partnerships that reached 150 million people, 3.8 million media hits, public events that reached 30,000 people, and sports marketing that reached 1.5 million.
The campaign will continue through the fall.
PR team: California Department of Transportation (Sacramento, CA) and Ogilvy PR (Sacramento, CA)
Campaign: Don't Trash California
Duration: December 2004 to September 2006
Budget: $6.5 million