Gatesman brought home first place in the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) 2019 AdWheel Awards for its TV spot for client Pace Suburban Bus. The agency topped all submissions for Electronic Media in the Best Marketing and Communications to Increase Ridership or Sales category.


Pace challenged Gatesman to reach Chicago’s current drivers and those who just moved into the area, educating them about the services Pace offers that make transportation convenient and relaxing. To reach this audience, the agency developed a television spot that demonstrates how riding Pace can free riders up to use their commuting time to do what they want. From shoe shopping to watching football, riders can customize their experience to suit their interests for a stress-free commuting solution.

“The beauty of this spot is that we didn’t just debunk current misperceptions of the bus riding experience,” said Julie Allard, EVP, executive creative director, Gatesman. “We took it a step further by elevating the riders’ journeys, from pick-up to final destination. Pace has amazing services and great offerings, and we used those to take our audience on a ride like they’ve never experienced before.”

The AdWheel Awards are designed to recognize the marketing and communications efforts of APTA members, showcasing best practices and raising awareness of the value of public transportation marketing professionals. The spot was recognized at APTA’s 2019 Marketing & Communications Workshop in New Orleans.

About Gatesman:

With offices in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Springfield, Mo., Gatesman tackles communications challenges with its proprietary Hacking Human Behavior™approach and offers expertise in strategy/branding, advertising, public relations, social media, digital and analytics. Gatesman is a partner in AMIN Worldwide, an alliance of over 50 independent marketing agencies, and IPREX, a global communications network. Gatesman acquired Quest Fore in 2014 and Noble Communications in 2017.  

About Pace:

Pace is Chicagoland's suburban bus and regional ADA paratransit provider, safely and efficiently moving people to work, school, and other regional destinations. Pace also offers a commuter vanpool program, rideshare matching services, community-based transportation options, and, soon, Pulse, Pace's new rapid transit network. Pace's family of public transportation services offer affordable and environmentally responsible transit options for the residents of Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. Learn more at