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Dagwood Takes Us for a Ride; Kids for a Walk

 

Situation:

Potomac Incorporated produces an annual Transportation Awards Ceremony, which is hosted by the Montgomery County Executive, who governs Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction within the nation’s third most congested region. Recognizing transit-friendly businesses is more than an honor…it’s a means to securing this area’s economic and ecological well being.

 

Our Approach:

Transportation Awards Ceremony (TAC) breakfasts are held each May in conjunction with National Transportation Week. These events honor organizations and individuals who engage in unique, effective ways to promote getting to work – other than driving alone.

 

Each TAC breakfast has its own fresh “personality.” Potomac and CSS featured cartoon character Dagwood Bumstead – renowned carpooler and bus rider – who appeared on all the Potomac-produced promotional materials – Nomination Form, Tickler Postcard, Invitation, Program, and Hotel Signage – for the 2001 event. “Dagwood” traveled by train from New York City, and then arrived at the Bethesda Hyatt ceremony aboard a local Ride On bus with other dignitaries, generating television and newspaper media coverage. The creator of the Blondie comic strip, Dean Young, drew a special cartoon for the occasion, featuring Dagwood chasing a Ride On bus. The cartoon was reproduced in the Washington Post and as a poster giveaway for the overflow crowd of nearly 300 guests.

 

The next TAC event’s media focus was on a local school’s third-grade class that inspired state legislators to introduce a bill declaring “walking as the official exercise of Maryland.”

 

Outcome:

The TAC event is now regarded as one of Montgomery County’s most important occasions. Potomac has helped TAC grow in stature and size, quadrupling the number of attendees while gaining front-page news coverage.

 

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