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Branded, Reusable Shopping Totes Promote a Planet-Friendly Message for Washington-D.C.-Area Commuting Expert, Arlington Transportation Partners


Challenge: To select a cost-effective promotional product to drive a progressive message to the masses.

Your goal: to increase awareness of a product, service, message or brand. Your options: many. Do you use mass media? Personal media? A combination of both? Do you engage spokespeople? Host events? Aim for a grassroots, groundswell of word of mouth support? These are the questions confronting the team at Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) as they considered cost-effective ways to promote a new county initiative dubbed the Car-Free Diet. That ATP would be selected to promote the initiative seemed a natural fit—ATP already helps Arlington county employers and communities create customized solutions to commuting challenges through the nationwide Commuter Choice program. Through Commuter Choice, ATP provides transportation-related services such as the development and administration of commuter benefit plans, employee transportation surveys, parking management strategies, and commuter events and promotions.

Car-Free Diet, designed to get more cars off the road in the heavily congested Washington, D.C. suburb, comprises an informational and inspirational blog and Web site complete with stories from successful “dieters” and a Car-Free Diet Calculator that estimates the financial savings, calorie burn and CO2-emission reductions possible when an individual follows the Car-Free Diet.

The ATP team, already with a warm audience attuned to the “drive less” message, wanted to garner corporate-level attention and participation in the Car-Free Diet through the use of promotional products. The idea was to hold a Car-Free Diet Expo for Arlington area employers, communities and their employees to encourage other ways of getting to work besides driving solo. Now—how to get the message out during the Expo?

Solution: 100 percent recyclable, reusable non-woven show tote bag distributed during a targeted expo.

Working with ePromos Account Manager Lonni Ornstein, the ATP team decided on reusable tote bags, which match the “Diet’s” eco-friendly theme. Because reusable totes more and more are becoming an appealing alternative to plastic, the team knew their message would get out—and stay out—to better promote the campaign. Lonni showed the team several tote alternatives, from which they selected our bestselling Non-Woven Show Tote Bag in an eye-catching lime green. With an 18-inch handle, this attractive, roomy tote features stitched seams and side and bottom gussets. It’s also tear-resistant, water-repellant, 100-percent recyclable, reusable and hand-washable.

Result: Message matching the medium delivered to thousands—mission accomplished!

The team reports promotional success, with approximately 1,000 of their clients signing up for the Car-Free Diet program. The branded totes, handed out during the event and imprinted with the message “Eat whatever you want (it’s not that kind of diet),” point people to the initiative Web site. The team also reports many positive recipient responses as well, including those from people who use their bags to carry lunch to work while riding the subway. And when the message matches the medium like that, we say mission accomplished!



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Arlington Transportation Partners Tote Bag Brand Awareness Promos (PDF Version)

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