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Creating an Integrated Marketing ProgramPFCA Square Logo

The Challenge:

Partners for Clean Air is a non-profit coalition dedicated to bringing cleaner air to the Chicago metropolitan area. It is unique in that it unites businesses, organizations and individuals committed to reducing harmful emissions and improving air quality. To achieve cleaner air PFCA needed to motivate a broad audience who are often apathetic to the message because they don’t believe that changes in individual behavior would have any impact. The challenge was to find a marketing strategy that was relevant and motivating.

Prior to NorthStar Strategies, PFCA utilized predominantly event marketing to get their message to the public. Although engaging, this approach reached very few people and had limited awareness and impact.


The Solution:PFCA Vertical Banner Ad

The marketing strategy developed by NorthStar Strategies was defined as Simple Changes = Surprising Savings. This strategy recognized that with relatively simple changes in everyday behavior, individuals can make a difference in air quality AND can save money with those changes. This elevated a lower-interest social issue (clean air) by linking it to an important personal benefit (save money) which resonated with a broad target audience.

NorthStar created an integrated media plan to deliver the strategic message. Radio and outdoor were used to reach people in their cars when they are likely thinking about their mode of transportation. Online advertising and social media were introduced to PFCA and proved highly successful. Digital has become an increasingly important element of the media plan. There was also limited, but strategic use of TV.

The Results:

The mix of heavy radio and outdoor plus strategically targeted TV and digital was very effective in several ways:

  • Station-produced TV and radio commercials allowed the bulk of the media budget to remain in “working media” instead of production and talent payments.
  • On-air appearances and interviews, negotiated with TV and radio buys delivered additional reach and credibility via in-program content. Plus, on-air segments have been re-purposed on the website and social media.


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Smart Words

"Marketing isn't magic.  There is a science to it."

Dan Zarrella, Social Media Scientist, Hubspot