Clipper Vacations is one of the advertisers on WSDOT ferries-related Web pages. See live banner advertising
Word cloud depicting users feedback on WSDOT's website during the digital advertising usability study (pdf 2mb).
Pilot Project Goals
Test the revenue and cost assumptions on a small section of Web pages with high page views.
Confirm the level of demand from advertisers for display advertisements and sponsorships.
Evaluate the public’s perception and online experience navigating sites with advertising.
Work through technical and legal issues, including development of advertising guidelines and a rigorous review process.
Establish a sustainable business model if the decision is to move beyond a pilot project.
Advertise with WSDOT
Why Is WSDOT Testing Digital Advertising?
The Legislature directed WSDOT to explore how it could leverage its website assets to spur a new revenue source for the agency. Given the limited number of government agencies with digital advertising, and its untested effects upon usability, WSDOT is conducting a pilot project. See the preliminary results folio (pdf 1.29MB).
WSDOT’s Public/Private Partnerships Office conducted a Website Monetizing Feasibility Study (pdf 4.6mb) to analyze potential business models, revenues, costs and risks. The results of the study showed that with 410 million annual page views, WSDOT’s web site might be very attractive to advertisers, particularly those targeting motorists, commuters, travelers and tourists in Washington state.
For the pilot project, WSDOT established revenue-sharing business partnerships with advertising sales firms.
Advertising on ferry-related pages:
WSDOT and T4Media launched the digital advertising pilot project in January 2011 with monthly banner advertising packages on ferry schedule and vessel watch Web pages. To advertise on ferry vessels, at ferry terminals, or on ferry Web pages, contact T4Media at 206-283-4440.
Advertising on traffic and traveler information pages:
WSDOT's sales partner, Municipal Media Solutions, works with businesses to create custom advertising packages on popular traffic and traveler information pages. To find out about digital advertising and sponsorship opportunities, contact Municipal Media Solutions at 847-922-1584.
Which Web pages have advertising?
Banner advertising space is available on www.wsdot.com Web pages including the ferry vessel watch and ferry schedule Web pages. Leader banners are also available on popular WSDOT online traffic and traveler information pages such as traffic conditions, mountain passes and weather.
What types of digital advertising are you testing?
WSDOT is starting with banner ads and is exploring other types of digital advertising during the pilot project.
- Display/banner ads running across the top or down the right side of a Web page or along the bottom of email announcements are priced in terms of the page views.
- Sponsorships describing an advertiser’s offerings are sold at a fixed price for a period of time, with links to the advertiser’s website.
- Business listings linking to advertisers' websites by topical categories such as lodging, restaurants, and attractions are priced at a set monthly rate.
What are the digital advertising Guidelines?
Advertising containing the following content will not be permitted:
- Obscene or indecent
- Public Issue
In addition, advertising that depicts or promotes the following products, services or other material will not be permitted:
- Tobacco products
- Films rated “X” or “NC-17” and video games rated “A” or “M”, or comparable industry standards
- Adult book / video stores, adult Internet sites, adult telephone services, escort services and adult entertainment establishments
- Any material that is false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or would constitute a tort of defamation or invasion of privacy
- Any material that is so objectionable that under contemporary community standards as to be reasonably foreseeable that it will result in harm to, disruption of, or interference with a transportation system
- Any material directed at a person or group that is so insulting, degrading or offensive as to be reasonably foreseeable that it will incite or produce imminent lawless action in the form of retaliation, vandalism or other breach of public safety, peace and order
For the full advertising content guidelines, see WSDOT's digital advertising policy.
What other Government Agencies Sell Website Advertising Space?
Other government entities already selling website advertising space include the Oregon Department of Transportation “ Trip Check,” Oregon Tourism Commission “ Travel Oregon,” California Travel and Tourism Commission “ Visit California,” the Chicago, Illinois Cook County Assessor’s Office, Trip Planner and Regional Transportation Authority. The Alachua County Property Appraiser in Florida and the Boston Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority also offer commercial advertising space.
Comments? Complaints? Compliments?
We want to hear from you. An important part of the pilot project is to gather public feedback and to make sure the advertising does not interfere with navigating WSDOT’s website. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Who Do I Contact About This Pilot Project?
Project Development and Communications Manager
WSDOT Public-Private Partnerships Program
310 Maple Park Avenue S.E.
PO Box 47395
Olympia, WA 98504-7395