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IDOT teams up with ISU for marketing campaigns

IDOT Blog – Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Looking for new ways to end fatalities on Illinois roads has led IDOT back to the classroom.

The Office of Communications and Bureau of Safety Programs and Engineering are collaborating with Illinois State University to help create student concepts for campaigns associated with impaired driving, seat belt use, work zone safety, distracted driving, motorcycles and speeding, as well as bike and pedestrian awareness.

The partnership started last fall, coordinated by DCC Marketing, the Decatur firm that developed IDOT’s ongoing “It’s Not a Game” campaign.

“Sometimes the best ideas come from a fresh set of eyes,” said Director of Communications Guy Tridgell. “We’re hearing a lot of clever ideas while at the same time doing our part to help young drivers understand they play a role in eliminating preventable crashes and deaths.”

The exercise with marketing professor Hulda Black is designed to mimic work that her students will experience after graduation. Over two sessions, they were briefed on the issues surrounding traffic safety in Illinois and IDOT’s behavioral messaging efforts. Her students then spent several weeks preparing proposals for a final presentation on the last day of class.

“By involving students in real-world challenges and guiding them to develop practical solutions and impactful proposals, they acquire invaluable skills essential for success in this dynamic field,” Black said. “Crafting high-quality work during their academic journey will undoubtedly sharpen their marketing acumen.”

Among the ideas receiving a closer look are expanded social media use to zero in on IDOT’s target audiences and opportunities with the growing popularity of esports, or competitive video gaming. All of the proposals can be viewed here.

“Collaborating with educational institutions fosters a fresh generation of marketers adept at navigating the complexities of the industry,” said E.J. Panganiban, creative director for DCC Marketing. “Such partnerships not only benefit students but also enrich the marketing profession as a whole by infusing it with new perspectives and innovative approaches.”

The relationship with ISU is continuing this spring with a new group of students.

“It has been exciting,” Tridgell said. “We’re learning a lot from each other.”