Summerhill Group: Retire Your Ride
Retire Your Ride was a national program designed to retire 1995 model year and older vehicles in an environmentally responsible manner, in an effort to improve air quality and encourage the use of sustainable transportation. The program ran from January 2009 to March 31, 2011 and was delivered nationally by Summerhill Impact, funded by the Government of Canada and supported by a network of experienced regional delivery agents, as well as a national network of automotive recyclers.
As the program’s agency of record, Citizen Optimum’s role was to ensure the program remained in the news consistently throughout the program to encourage Canadians to retire their older, higher-polluting vehicles. With the program coming to a close, Citizen Optimum was tasked with encouraging owners of 1995 and older model year vehicles to act before the March 31st deadline to receive the associated rewards.
Citizen Optimum’s campaign objectives were to increase awareness and drive participation in Retire Your Ride across Canada in the last two months of the program by clearly communicating the impact 1995 and older model year vehicles have on the environment and by highlighting the rewards participants receive.
To achieve its objectives, Citizen Optimum developed a nationwide proactive media relations campaign that leveraged spring cleaning as a story hook and used the looming program deadline to encourage Canadians to clean out their garage and driveways by retiring their old, high-polluting cars.
Citizen Optimum developed a national and targeted provincial press releases that encouraged Canadians to ‘spring cleaning the environment’ by participating in Retire Your Ride. By highlighting the rewards participants receive and the statistic that 1995 or older vehicles produce 19 times more air pollution than a 2004 or newer model, Citizen Optimum demonstrated the personal and environmental incentive for Canadians to retire their ride before the program deadline of March 31, 2011.
Citizen Optimum’s campaign resulted in nationwide coverage which successfully garnered 128 hits. Coverage was secured in print, online, and broadcast media; highlights include a Post Media article that ran in outlets across the country and Breakfast Television segments in Halifax and Winnipeg.