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The Vida Agency
West Seattle bridge with text overlay final phase of repairs.

West Seattle High-Bridge Safety Program

Communications Campaign

Historically, the West Seattle Bridge is the City of Seattle’s most used street, typically carrying more than 100,000 daily travelers. Built in 1984, it is the primary route to move people and goods to and from West Seattle, providing connections with neighboring communities. In 2020, SDOT closed the high bridge after regular inspections showed rapidly growing cracks. The closure has been a challenge to travelers and businesses in West Seattle, and the neighboring communities of South Park, Georgetown, and SODO, as well as greater Seattle.

Approach

The Vida Agency (TVA) was hired to communicate project updates with a focus on engaging those historically left out of the conversations. We’ve conducted outreach, led group discussions, qualitative interviews and surveys, and provided storytelling and marketing campaigns for West Seattle residents and businesses who have been impacted by bridge closures, with a particular focus on BIPOC communities traditionally underserved in public outreach.

Advertisement written in Khmer showing the West Seattle Bridge.
Advertisement written in Korean showing the West Seattle Bridge.

TVA has planned strategies and created materials in Cantonese, Chinese, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Oromo, Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese, and English. Andromeda has provided transcreation services and interpreters for public meetings and in-person engagements.

Our team has also created West Seattle personas for Mobility Action Plan strategy planning.

10 focus groups and more than 60 one-on-one conversations have taken place with West Seattle, Duwamish Valley, and Georgetown residents and businesses who have been impacted by the bridge closure.

Creative

Utopia and TVA produced several videos to educate the public about the project, bridge repairs, and surrounding mitigation projects. Videos included a multilingual virtual walking tour video for the West Marginal Way project, monthly construction progress updates, and bridge repair method videos which simplified technical language and showed how the work was being done.

Campaign

The Don’t Go Low Digital Campaign brought awareness about new citations being issued on the Low Bridge for non-authorized vehicles, while the West Seattle High Bridge is closed for repair, we created a visual campaign to inform drivers across the region.

Don’t Go Low info graphic with text Travel to & from West Seattle. Don’t go low. $75 automatic fine each way. Low bridge restricted access 5am to 9 pm.
Don’t Go Low ad in Spanish with text Saliendo de West Seattle. No use el puetne bajo. $75 multa automatica de $75 en ambos sentidos. Acceso restringido en el puente de bajo nivel.
Don’t Go Low ad in Vietnamese showing West Seattle bridge illustration and Seattle Department of Transportation logo.
West Seattle Bridge Don’t Go Low postcard with text The West Seattle bridge is closed to general vehicle traffic most of the day. With table of time closures.

The Don’t Go Low campaign included ads in 8 languages (English, Spanish, Oromo, Korean, Khmer, Chinese, Somali, and Vietnamese) with transcreation provided by Andromeda. Digital display ads reached West Seattle and the City of Seattle as a whole. “Digital Out of Home” ads (English only) were also strategically placed at gas station pumps surrounding the bridge, at ATMs, and convenience store check-out stations. Video ads served across connected TV devices (in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese) and reached those watching Hulu, NBC, ABC, or other apps that stream to Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and more.

Outcome

The Don’t Go Low campaign received 5M+ impressions and more than 10,000 clicks.