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Colorado’s “Save Time, Renew Online” Social Media Campaign Recognized with National PACE Award

The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Donor Alliance and Colorado.gov today announced that their joint “Save Time, Renew Online” social media campaign utilizing the fictitious character Guy VROOM has been named the Best Use of Social Media by the annual PACE Awards sponsored by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). The communications campaign successfully lessened foot traffic to DMV offices and increased registered organ, eye and tissue donors. The “Save Time, Renew Online” campaign aims to educate Coloradans about the ability to renew their driver’s licenses online. The initiative is led by the character Guy VROOM, a comical, mullet-wearing “dude” stuck in the 1980s. The joke being that Guy VROOM looks and talks that way because he renews his license online and skips the lines at the DMV, and therefore is able to keep using his old photo, circa 1985. Complementing direct mail and advertising outreach surrounding the initiative, the Colorado DMV, Donor Alliance and Colorado.gov executed a social media campaign to facilitate direct-to-consumer interaction and spur viral appeal with the humorous Guy VROOM.

“The social media campaign helped ensure that ‘Save Time, Renew Online’ was a success. We are pleased to announce that as a result, 12 percent of all Colorado driver’s licenses now renew online, which translates to 160,000 fewer people visiting DMV offices and better customer service,” said Mike Dixon Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles. “This campaign was born out of our need to increase participation in online license renewals to assist in reducing increased customer volume in our driver’s license offices as a result of simultaneous expiration of both the 5- and 10-year licenses in 2011 through 2015. We are so pleased that we hit the mark with this creative program.”

Social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and foursquare were used to boost the visibility of the lovable Guy VROOM character. There, he shared the messages of online license renewal and organ and tissue donation, and interacted directly with consumers. Contests were held to drive interest in the pages, and Guy VROOM’s following rapidly increased.

“Social media has proven a fantastic way to connect with Coloradans to discuss organ, eye and tissue donation. Using Guy VROOM we have educated residents that while they are online renewing their licenses, they also have the opportunity to give the gift of life by registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor,” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance, the nonprofit organ procurement organization serving Colorado. “We are proud to announce that 73 percent of Colorado drivers who renew online elect to become donors, a 6 percent higher election rate than in DMV offices.”

Regional PACE Awards category winners were announced at the Annual Region IV AAMVA Conference, June 18-21 in Albuquerque. The PACE Awards recognize public relations, public affairs and consumer education excellence among the motor vehicle, law enforcement and traffic safety agencies across North America. The program recognizes creativity, cost effectiveness and the ability to reach consumers with a well-crafted, measured and executed message. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization developing model programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement and highway safety.