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MiraCosta College Contributes to Public Service Advertising Campaign

It’s a wrap.

Oceanside CA— Students in a MiraCosta College advertising and promotions course have helped create new bus wraps that are part of a public service advertising campaign aimed at improving safety for bicyclists.

The messaging wrapped around the back of 15 North County Transit District buses was funded by a San Diego Association of Governments grant and involved the City of Oceanside, stakeholder groups and students in Associate Instructor Cheryl Wadeson’s advertising and promotions class.

“It was a cool experience,” said Cole Harmening, 19, who hopes to become a marketing manager for a small or medium-sized company. “The reason we’re in that class is to learn about marketing and promotions, and to be able to create the messaging in an ad campaign and then pitch it to different stakeholder groups was a great way to see how the process works.”

The project was launched after Howard LaGrange, Oceanside’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, secured a $100,000 grant from SANDAG as part of a public education campaign bringing attention to the danger of bikes trying to pass a bus on the right and driving home the point that roads marked with sharrows indicate bicycles have a shared lane with vehicles.

LaGrange contacted Business Department Chair Eric Carstensen at MiraCosta College for ideas, and Carstensen quickly turned to Wadeson for help.

“MiraCosta College was wonderful to work with,” LaGrange said. “The students over there had some quite innovative, ingenious ideas.”

The results are two bus wraps, complete with graphics, which will be rolled out in July. The message, aimed at bicyclists, states, “It’s too tight…to pass on the right.” The other, aimed at motorists reads, “Be Aware. Share the Sharrows.”

Students in Wadeson’s class came up with about 30 slogans, some good, some not so good. Messages were refined and polished, then taken to various advocacy groups and officials for their input.

“That was a really good experience for them and it taught them a lot about pitching a marketing plan to a client,” Wadeson said.

Because the semester was already under way when Wadeson learned of the effort, it was not part of her class syllabus. That meant students were volunteering their time. No matter. They were in from the beginning.

“I’m really proud of our students,” Wadeson said. “They showed great initiative, creativity and collaboration.”

Taking the lead in the effort were students Courtney Ward, Jordan Jansma, Jack Wadsworth, Adrian Mandujano, Poetry Loggins and Harmening.

“We’re giving our students not just the theoretical, but also the practical application of business marketing and promotions, and this is another example of how are students are putting what they learn in the classroom to work in the real world,” said Wadeson, whose career includes 20 years of sales and business management experience and who once served as director of regional sales for United Airlines.