Kitsap Transit "Get Vaccinated" Fare Promotion Campaign

Target Audience: The target audience was those members of the general public in Kitsap County who, by June 2021, had not yet gotten vaccinated against COVID-19, especially those who were undecided but considering it. Based on data from Kitsap Public Health District, there were approximately 75,000 unvaccinated adults in the county at that point in time, including those who did not speak English as a first language.

Strategy Objective:The campaign's strategy was straightforward – offer a free month's rides on all KT services ($200 fare value) in exchange for proof the individual had initiated COVID vaccination. But the logistics were tricky: KT didn't want to violate any privacy laws. KT partnered with the three of the area's largest vaccination providers and gave them serialized vouchers, signage and swag. The clinics gave vouchers to patients and remitted stubs to KT. An online process was set up by KT to allow customers to apply for a "Vaccination Pass" and upload a photo of the voucher to document they got their shot. Automated checks by software allowed Customer Service to validate registrations and issue passes (limit one per person). Messaging on vouchers and bus exterior ads was translated into Spanish.

Situation Challenge: Although COVID-19 vaccine became available in phases in 2021, the number of vaccinations administered weekly was slowing down by early June. Kitsap Transit (KT) had already made its Gateway Center building and Park & Ride available to a local non-profit health care provider for mass vaccinations, in addition to providing free transportation to anyone who needed a ride to a vaccination appointment. Just as Washington State launched vaccination incentives – including a $1 million lottery prize – KT wanted to offer an incentive to the public to "get off the fence" if they had procrastinated or were undecided on getting a COVID-19 shot. Experts had indicated that if more than 80 percent of the adult population was vaccinated, that could curtail the number and size of local COVID-19 outbreaks

Results Impact: Thanks to our exterior bus ads, clinic signage, and digital media posts by regional partners (social service agencies, schools, health care clinics, emergency managers), KT's generated broad awareness of its fare promotion. The 42 bus ads generated more than 1 million impressions. KT posts on social media had a combined reach of 22,507 and 903 engagements. To date, we have received 3,170 stubs; 256 people have applied for Vaccination Passes. While the promotion drew a modest number of registrations, it generated awareness of vaccination and helped support ridership. As the Health Officer put it, "Offering transit passes to those who get vaccinated promotes public health, helps minimize the inequities that this pandemic has caused and gets people back to work more economically and safely."

Why Submit: KT's "Get Vaccinated" campaign deserves an AdWheel Award for many reasons: This was truly a first-of-its-kind partnership with the health-care community in Kitsap County. KT's creative use of QR codes, serial numbers and web forms that use conditional logic, as well as the manual entry of remitted voucher stubs into a database, enabled the registration process to work seamlessly and minimize the burden on providers. The eye-catching creative was accessible to all education levels and backgrounds. By aligning itself with vaccination efforts and leveraging its buses as moving billboards, KT showed its commitment to science and moving society toward a new normal as quickly as possible. We have played a small part in saving lives and reducing suffering during this pandemic.