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Seattle Dept of Transportation- SeaPark

Advertising and Promotion, Brand Strategy and Development, Collateral Development, Graphic Design, Media Buying

Pay Like a Parking Pro


The Seattle Department of Transportation planned to change on-street parking hours and rates in select neighborhoods around Seattle summer and fall 2014. The changes were based on data SDOT collected on occupancy of spaces to achieve the goal of one to two spaces available per block for visitor and shopper access. SDOT hired Team Soapbox to develop a well-rounded and targeted public education campaign to let drivers know about the changes in hours and rates and the benefits to them. They particularly wanted to make sure that people didn’t get a parking ticket because they weren’t expecting the changes.

Team Soapbox led the team that developed a theme and tagline and created a multi-layered campaign that included a large advertising buy, production of a video, as well as community outreach and grassroots marketing.

• Playing off the notion that Seattleites like to be in the know, we created a theme related to knowing the rules of a game with a Monopoly-like graphic.
• We created three different versions of the graphic to be used in different areas of the cities that would be seeing different changes that directed people to the SDOT parking website for more information about changes. One for changing rates, one for extended paid parking hours in the evenings and one showing that cheaper parking was just a few blocks away.
• We created a catchy video that played in movie theaters, on and on cable TV channels.
• We placed ads targeted to specific neighborhoods in community blogs and newspapers, as well as in Seattle Met magazine, Seattle Met’s e-mail newsletters, Seattle Times website, local ethnic newspapers such as NW Asian Weekly and International Examiner, radio, and created holiday sponsorships opportunities.
• To ensure people understood they needed to pay for parking up to 8 p.m. in certain locations, we created bright orange flags alerting them of the change.
• In key neighborhoods where there may have been some frustration among drivers about the changes, we dispatched street team members to farmers markets and the International District to hand out postcard describing the changes. Most people were thankful for the heads up.
• We also distributed postcards to retail locations in all of the areas where hours and rates would be changing.
• SDOT said they did not receive very many complaints about the parking changes, which was an indication that people were getting the message and understanding the changes.


Know the Rules, Win the Game!