– Case Study –

Los Angeles
Streetcar Inc


A 6-month political awareness campaign designed to persuade
Downtown residents to fund a modernized streetcar system in DTLA.

The Set Up:
Downtown LA is making big moves. Trendy bars, fancy restaurants, boutique hotels.
All great things, sure. But it needed something else, something that would unite the city's interesting,
but distinct neighborhoods into one integrated community. The Downtown LA Streetcar was the answer.
And government was on board too –quickly committing to fork over 50% of the budget on one condition:
show us that this project has the support of the people. And so WeAreGiants. was hired.

Our Task:

Garner support in the Downtown community for an additional tax (in the midst
of economic toil, no less). A tax for something that many people thought was
essentially the equivalent of Disneyland's Trolly or the Hogwarts Express. Not exactly an easy job.

A Strategy:
We knew that the key was to effectively communicate the benefits of having a
streetcar in DTLA (many of which are technical and economic in nature.)
What real world impact would the Streetcar have on their everyday lives?
Among materials created to accomplish this goal were brochures, billboards, posters, signs,
email blasts, door hangers and infographics. We also helped to concept, plan and design
materials for a series "guerrilla-style" events focused on generating awareness around the Streetcar
project and the upcoming vote.

The Results:
In the end, the vote passed by an enormous margin far exceeding expectations.
In fact, we nearly doubled the voter turnout of the last City Council election.
The Streetcar is underway and should be cruising the streets of Downtown in the near future.

The Brand Voice 

Challenge 1
We knew we’d be discussing some pretty heavy, somewhat technical content
so we really wanted to develop a design aesthetic that made comprehension as smooth as possible.

Challenge 2
Finding a happy mid-point between the corporate-y look and feel that the city
and client were used to and something that felt a little more human
and a lot more aesthetically appealing.

The Result
Clean lines, bold colors, distinct fonts and thoughtful info-graphics.

We created a piece that included everything one might want to know about the
Streetcar project all in one place. The challenge of the main brochure was to pour through
the insane amount of raw data, statistics and research to pull out the most relevant pieces of information
and organize them in a comprehensive and compelling way.

We knew that if there was any chance that the Streetcar would pass, we’d need to figure
out a way to make our message easy to share. We noticed that people who live in Downtown
tend to be very involved in the growth of their community, and if given the right tools,
would be a wildly supportive in the strategy of helping to spread our message.
So we got to work manufacturing recruitment tools that would allow us to enlist
the help of passionate residents by turning them into evangelists for our message.

First, we created the position of a Streetcar Ambassador that armed eager supporters with
a cliff notes guide that they could use to sell their friends on the Streetcar project.

We also created a training program for Streetcar Conductors that enabled the exceptionally enthusiastic
supporters to create their own mini-awareness campaigns at their loft buildings.


Taste of Streetcar
Taste of Streetcar was our most effective and farthest reaching event. We invited 1,100 residents
of Downtown to join us for an evening of dining and education about the Streetcar.
The event featured 25 restaurants in Downtown that would be located along the Streetcar route.
But the goal of the event wasn’t just to introduce residents to local eateries.
We wanted to take this opportunity to really educate the voters about the truth behind the Streetcar.
We needed to figure out a strategy to prompt the attendees to actually take the time
to engage with our materials on top of the free food and tons of alcohol. This wouldn’t be easy.

So we created a guided, interactive tour along the Streetcar route to educate
these potential voters about the Streetcar. The activation rewarded
participants who took interest in learning about the Streetcar. 

Movie Night
While Taste of Streetcar was catered towards a younger,
trendier demographic, we wanted to put together an event that also highlighted how the
Streetcar could improve the lives of families living in Downtown.
As an added bonus, we capitalized on the recent surge of media buzz surrounding the unveiling
of the brand new Grand Park by hosting a movie night under the stars.