Case Study: Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin
With thousands of members, the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is the largest and arguably the most tireless cycling advocacy group in the state. The “Bike Fed,” as it is known in the cycling crowd, has provided context and energy for countless initiatives to promote bicycling as a viable and enjoyable means of transportation and recreation. One such initiative is the 20by2020 project, a Bikes Belong advocacy effort that envisions 20% of all transportation in the Madison region occurring by bicycle by the year 2020.
In April 2011, the BFW engaged Focal Flame photographer Clint Thayer to create a series of images to be used in a media bike advocacy media campaign for the 20by2020 initiative. The goal of the campaign was to communicate the value proposition of the bicycle as means of transportation, and photo shoots with models occurred at multiple iconic Madison locations including Camp Randall Stadium and Olin Park overlooking Lake Monona. The images were licensed for use in advertisements that ran in local newspaper The Isthmus, Madison Magazine, on billboards, in the Willy Street Co-op newsletter, and at the Goodman Community Center Pool.
Amanda White, Associate Director of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, was delighted at the results. “Using a skilled, professional photographer to shoot local, Madison sites was vital to the campaign,” said White. “The images are central to the campaign and the most powerful aspect of the ads...We were so fortunate that we had an amazing photographer! The images are exactly what I had envisioned!” To read more about the 20by2020 ad campaign, read the Focal Flame blog post.
The ad campaign occurred in coordination with with a statewide Commuter Challenge project that used social media marketing, incentive prizes from sponsors, and an online bike commuting miles tracking system to encourage employers to promote bike commuting among their employees. By October 2011, BFW staff were overjoyed to see that bike commuting was continuing to gain traction based on field surveys that tallied bike commuter trips. In 2010 alone, over 6% of Madison commuters biked to work - a 20% increase over the previous year, and a significant step toward achieving the 20by2020 goal.