Southern California freeways are among the world’s most overcrowded and congested. The Toll Roads offer drivers a reliable solution that saves them time and stress. Totaling 51 miles, The Toll Roads make up the largest network of toll roads in California and account for 20 percent of Orange County’s highway system. More than 250,000 motorists drive The Toll Roads each day, which are comprised of State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261.


  • Negative public perception of The Toll Roads due to fact that the roads cost money to drive
  • Low ridership due to rising toll rates and alternate free roadway options
  • Re-brand The Toll Roads as a helpful community advocate
  • Overcome misperception that roads are paid for with tax money, which adds to driver resentment of the roads
  • Increase FasTrak (electronic tolling) usage

What We Did

  • Conducting research via focus groups with both loyal Toll Road customers and drivers who never use the roads
  • Analyzed current website
  • Interviewed core constituents to aid in learning and rebrand effort
  • Studied Southern California driving patterns and other national toll road systems
  • Set out to completely change perception of The Toll Roads

Strategic Solutions

  • Developed new theme line: Drive Less. Live More.
  • New theme line communicates the major benefit of The Toll Roads
  • Re-focus communications away from the tolling aspect and towards the life-enhancing aspects of time savings and stress reduction
  • Revamp website away from a cold, governmental feel to a user-friendly, helpful tool

Creative Solutions

  • Created series of humorous TV commercials, print ads and online communications that poke fun at those who spend their lives sitting in traffic
  • “Drive Less. Live More” campaign designed to give The Toll Roads a friendly, approachable brand personality
  • Completely revamped website to offer a whole new way for drivers to interact with the brand
  • Website new homepage incorporates clear, flexible and database-driven content areas


  • Website traffic increased 47.3%
  • Public perception of The Toll Roads shifted from negative to highly positive
  • After one year, the average annual transponder revenue was up 160%

Work created by GearShift Advertising principals while at former agencies.