Full portfolio

Amtrak Virginia

While the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation had specific ridership goals to achieve on the new passenger rail service, there was little to distinguish these two trains from other Amtrak service available in the Commonwealth except that the service originated in Virginia.  Pulsar recommended that DRPT take “ownership” of all passenger rail travel across the Commonwealth under the umbrella brand – Amtrak Virginia. Within the first year of a launch campaign, both trains were self-sufficient and passenger rail travel across the entire state was up as well.

Results: The new Lynchburg service in the first year of operation more than doubled the Commonwealth’s ridership goal, and raised $7.5 million in ticket revenue – tripling its revenue goal of $2.5 million. The Lynchburg train remains among the best performing state-supported train in Amtrak’s system. Increased tourism dollars spent in each of the corridors by 2.5% with lodging occupancy up by 5% in cities on the corridors.  Increased the number of college students enrolling in Student Advantage by 12% (1,145 more members).  Grew Facebook following to over 10,000 in two years.

Campaign: OOH, Direct Mail, Sponsorships (Picasso Exhibit in Richmond), Print, Digital, Social, Collateral, Community outreach (University partnerships), PR/Media.

Arlington County Commuter Services

Car-Free Diet 2.0

Pulsar created a landmark campaign in the Car Free Diet (where citizens and employees could lose 2,000 pounds in a day).  The Car Free Diet has experienced four previous “upgrades” all with the goal of continuing the momentum built previously.  The most recent update is focused on capitalizing on the equity around the all-natural/farm-to-table phenomenon.  By connecting the healthy eating behaviors with the Car Free Diet, we extend the reach of the campaign to new psychographic aspects of the target audience.

Results: The Car Free Diet is directly responsible for changing behavior that has resulted in the reduction of 38,000 single occupancy vehicle trips each day, that is over half a million vehicle miles, which contributes to more than 64,000 tons of air pollution reduced daily. Now that’s a diet we can all breath a sigh of relief about.

Challenge: To reinvent and re-energize an already-successful campaign

Message: Choosing to move outside of your car is a great way to see your city and stay healthy

Campaign: OOH, Print, digital and client-provided social, PR, community/business outreach

GO Alex

City of Alexandria’s GO Alex

City of Alexandria is among the Top 100 Best Places to Live (according to Livability) and one of the primary reasons is the number of options for getting around.  Whether it’s the Metro system, the free King Street Trolley, Capital Bikeshare, Amtrak/Reagan National Airport, or simply the romantic walk along the brick-lined streets – GO Alex brings them all to life for those that live, work or visit the City of Alexandria.

Challenge: Refresh the City’s transportation demand management brand from LocalMotion (during a routine Google search of “Local Motion Alexandria”, 7/10 results were for a local motion yoga studioand not for the City’s brand) that builds excitement, energy, engagement and ultimately behavior change while accumulating brand equity for the City.

Results: The new GO Alex brand was launched in October 2016.  With a limited marketing budget, the emphasis has been placed on community and business outreach while developing tools (collateral, video, displays, etc.) to educate, inform and engage target audiences.  The outreach effort has resulted to date in direct conversations/engagements with over 30,000 citizens and tourists as well as nearly 100 employers and over 2,500 employees.

Message: Good times and great rides all start with G Trans

Campaign: OOH, collateral, direct mail, community outreach, web video.

Virginia Dept. of Taxation

It’s Hip to Be Square

By creating an “outbreak” of people with giant square smiley face heads, Pulsar created a fun and engaging campaign that was in sharp contrast to traditional government taxation communications (i.e., “we know where you live and we’ll get our money”).

Results: The Get Square campaign resulted in the Commonwealth of Virginia collecting $103 million in back taxes (more than double the 48 million goal). And we did it in the middle of the worst recession in 75 years and with only a $1 million budget

Challenge: Convince people who owe back taxes to pay up

Message: If you get square on your tax debts, you’re going to feel pretty darn amazing

Campaign: TV, web videos, OOH, print, website, press launch event, client provided – direct mail, 24/7 live chat/hotline, PR/media.


VA Taxation Billboard


Foothill Transit

A Welcoming Campaign

For over 15 years Pulsar Advertising has been a collaborative, nimble and innovative marketing partner with Foothill. Pulsar has grown to intricately understand the agency, service area, customers (existing and potential) and the community served. There is a shared passion between the two agencies’ approach to marketing because Foothill Transit’s culture is contained in Pulsar’s own brand “Let’s Do a World of Good.”

Challenge: Develop and execute a universal student ridership program with a recognizable brand identity. Program materials needed to be easily customizable and meet the needs of individual colleges in the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys.

Results: 5,435 Tap cards were distributed to Mt. SAC students and 465 TAP cards for LA Verne the first month alone. Line 486 utilized by Mt. SAC students went to full capacity resulting in increased service to handle ridership volume.

The Message: Make your ride as productive or as relaxing as you want when take Foothill Transit instead of drive

Campaign: Snap Chat, Pandora radio, social and digital content.


“E-ZPass Is Easy” Social Video Series

New cashless tolling was implemented at all NY MTA toll facilities at an accelerated rate to improve mobility and safety in/around the NY Region. Informing, educating and preparing the tens of thousands of customers residing and traveling through the NY region that will be impacted and will need to get an E-ZPass before they use a cashless tolling facility.

Results: Sales for the first 2 weeks of the debut of the campaign showed an increase in MTA E-ZPass accounts: 11% increase from the previous month and 44% monthly increase year over year.

Campaign: Social video series, website landing page, OOH, direct mail/email, print, door hangers, collateral.



Take It All Home

As one of the largest commuter rail systems in the United States, Metra also wanted new riders (as well as their regular riders) to know how easy it is for families to ride on the weekends when the trains aren’t as crowded. So, we put together a summer campaign promoting Metra’s $8 Weekend Pass and kids ride free.  The creative depicts how riding the train is part of the full Chicago experience by highlighting the emotions kids (and parents) feel because Metra makes every part of the trip – magical.

Challenge: Build weekend ridership, while simultaneously attracting new riders (commuters) to experience train ridership as a time-saving, stress relieving alternative to driving.

Message: Riding Metra lets you spend more time together rather than stressing over parking and traffic

Campaign: Radio, Print, Online, Outdoor, Search Engine Marketing, Promoted Social Posts (client provided Social Content, Public/Media Relations)


New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Getting Results

The digital and social ads generated nearly 16 million ad impressions and more than 41,000 clicks, with the most recent campaign generating a click-through-rate of 1.95%. Pulsar continues to evolve the campaign and provide LIRR with engaging creative and messaging to promote and grow their Getaways program.

Challenge: As part of NY MTA’s AOR, to build brand awareness of Long Island RR as well as sales of getaway vacation packages.

Campaign: Print, online