UTA – COVID Response

COVID-19 Response

Safely increasing ridership during a pandemic

What we did

2020 was no ordinary year, and the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) was no exception. As the pandemic continues into 2021, brands within every category and industry have struggled to message in the era of COVID-19. Recognizing the need to help develop a new communication strategy and inform ridership recovery, R&R explored the motivations and barriers to using public transportation during COVID-19.

The key to changing behavior is still defining social norms. The UTA’s 2020 brand campaign was built around the Theory of Planned Behavior, helping shape social norms by featuring real people riding UTA. Because the campaign felt naturally organic, integrating COVID-19 messaging into the campaign is natural and, more importantly, credible.

Scope of Work Provided: three :30 videos, broadcast, digital and mobile ad campaign

The first two television spots, “Pioneer Spirit” and “Passenger Proud,” ran for 12 weeks, gaining over 10,700,000 impressions April to June 2020. Overall, the 2020 digital campaign ended with a click-through rate of .12%, the industry benchmark being .10%. Mobile interstitials helped overcome the size limitation on smartphones by occupying users’ entire screen, engaging them in taking action on their mobile device. On Saturday, April 4, a homepage takeover during the LDS General Conference accounted for 7.7 of the 30 million impressions, the highest number of impressions during that event in six years.

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The Results


earned media impressions in 12 weeks


over the industry benchmark for click-through rates


homepage takeover impressions