Surprised by Shoreline
Changing Perceptions of a Seattle Suburb
Just 10 miles from downtown Seattle, Shoreline, WA, is a sleepy first-tier suburb poised for its first major redevelopment and urbanization in the last 50 years. It will soon be home to two new light rail stops and the new urban zoning that comes with transit-oriented development. From early 2015 through June 2016, PRR worked with the City of Shoreline to conduct research, create messages, and develop an award-winning marketing campaign, Surprised by Shoreline, to attract future residents, businesses, and investors.
Employed an online panel to survey over 600 non-residents and learn about Shoreline's perception issues. Discovered 20% of participants liked a description of Shoreline more before they knew it was Shoreline.
Designed custom, hand-drawn illustrations to bring Shoreline ambassador, Squatch, and his friends to life in everything from microsite tiles to a life-size Squatch cut-out
Developed an interactive and education microsite to serve as a hub for all Surprised by Shoreline information, and an award-winning mockumentary featuring fictional Shoreline ambassador, Squatch.
Created items to build resident ambassadors including a hand-drawn coloring book titled “A Sunny Saturday in Shoreline” (also available in Spanish), Squatch Coasters and chopstick covers, and a life size Squatch cutout .
You Don’t Know Squatch Mockumentary
To help the curious get surprised by Shoreline, PRR created a new Shoreline ambassador: Squatch. Squatch is the friendly Sasquatch who has lived in Shoreline for years, but since people know so little about Shoreline, they think he’s been hiding. Squatch wants to bust myths about Shoreline and help everyone to learn more about its wonderful people and places.
In this Portlandia-like mockumentary, Squatch appears in his natural habitat in Shoreline, busting myths about his whereabouts and about his beloved city. PRR’s own Robert Reyes starred as Squatch, the web developer. In addition, the City of Shoreline was a first time sponsor of SIFF in 2016. With the sponsorship, they received a 30-second trailer spot for every showing in Shoreline (at the Community College). PRR produced the trailer in a suspenseful, almost thriller-movie-style (the opposite of our video) to entice viewers to watch the full video at SurprisedByShoreline.com.
Surprised by Shoreline Microsite:Microsites are websites dedicated to a few pages of content about a specific topic. SurprisedByShoreline.com is a one stop digital hub of Shoreline’s greatest hits, complete with fun, informative, and shareable infographics, maps, and videos—even a downloadable coloring book! It is also a supplement to the link and page-heavy shorelinewa.gov.
It was also important to dispel myths and old perceptions in a playful way with intermittent marketing campaigns. To help the curious get surprised by Shoreline, PRR created a new Shoreline ambassador: Squatch. Squatch is the friendly Sasquatch (northwest bigfoot) who has lived in Shoreline for years, but since people know so little about Shoreline, they think he’s been hiding. Squatch wants to bust myths about Shoreline and help everyone to learn more about its wonderful people and places. You’ll see him and his mythical friends (like Nugget the Jackalope and Nessie the Loch Ness Monstress) on the Surprised by Shoreline website, in videos, at events, and even on the sides of buses. His motto: You Don’t know Squatch About Shoreline!”
From May through July, we captured analytics on our efforts for Shoreline:
- The microsite has nearly 20,000 pageviews and over 7,000 users and an average session time of just under two minutes. We saw the biggest spike in interest during the Seattle International Film Festival Sponsorship where the trailer aired and the ad featuring the website was featured in the film catalog.
- The full-length video has received over 6,000 views and was selected for ADWeek’s national “Ad of the Day” on June 16, 2016.
- The transit ads received over 7,000,000 estimated impressions.
- Through our social media training and content planning, City channels grew followers by nearly 7% in the first month—more than double their goal of 2% per month.