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The Vida Agency
Smiling woman wearing a Hawaii shirt sitting in the driver’s seat of a bus

Drive IT

Bus Operator Recruitment Campaign

Intercity Transit, a regional transit agency serving Thurston County, turned to TVA to create a digital marketing campaign aimed at bus driver recruitment.

Recruitment has always been a challenge for transit agencies and the pandemic only magnified the issue. Now, as more people return to work and normal activities, transit use is increasing while the bus driver shortage is making it impossible to meet the needed level of service.


Intercity Transit logo


Viddy Award - Gold


The goal was to design and implement a digital marketing campaign that increased bus driver applicants with Intercity Transit as well as establish the company as an employer of choice. Our approach started with current drivers. We looked to understand what motivated them to apply with Intercity Transit and what was keeping them in the role. TVA also looked at potential barriers to applying that could be addressed.

Smiling man wearing a Hawaii shirt sitting in the driver’s seat of a bus

At Intercity Transit, we found that a common characteristic of a fulfilled driver was someone who enjoyed serving their community above all else. They saw operating a bus as an act of service. Drivers also expressed wanting to be part of an organization that serves and helps those in need.

We used this commonality to identify potential candidates in key industries where people are most likely to enter the transit field. These key audiences included:
  • New entrants to the workforce
  • Second-act career seekers leaving military service
  • Service and retail employees looking for reliable employment
  • Workers in similar industries


    “The Drive IT” campaign used real Intercity Transit bus operators as the face of the campaign. Each driver represented a potential candidate from the identified key industries most likely to be a good fit. The campaign used video and photography to highlight current drivers and their backgrounds. With the imagery and visuals focused on IT staff, messaging emphasized Intercity Transit benefits like paid trainings, benefits, and career growth.

    Advertisement with man in green shirt leaning against a bus with the text Stay In Uniform, Drive IT, continue to serve, close to home, great benefits, and a call to action that reads join
    Advertisement with smiling man in grey shirt and black baseball cap leaning against a wall with the text Why wait 4 years to start your career, Drive IT, no student debt, paid training, career growth, and a call to action that reads join


    The efforts of this campaign led to almost 750K impressions and over 1,800 clicks. The click-through-rate (CTR) for both display and social ads were 0.20% and 0.30% respectively. Additionally, our paid search CTR was above 15%.

    Since our primary goal was to increase operator recruitment and retention by showing ads with a call-to-action, the CTR percentages helped indicate a successful campaign.