thunder::tech helped a pioneering traffic safety products designer and distributor thrive with inventive videos, resonant messaging and impactful website design


PSS is a designer and distributor of traffic control and work zone safety products. The company originally made its name more than 20 years ago with the development of the “original sandless drum”—a plastic roadside crash barrel weighted by a ring of heavy rubber instead of sandbags. This type of barrel is ubiquitous now, but, at the time, it was a ground-breaking innovation for an industry that still relied on bulky metal barrels or plastic barrels weighted with sand.
PSS’s commitment to innovation extended into its marketing efforts as well. While their competitors relied on paper sell sheets and catalogs, PSS wanted to try something different to demonstrate the superiority of its products. That’s when it first came to thunder::tech to start making videos.

Embracing the power of video
PSS had all the facts and figures to prove its products were the best on the market, but it knew nothing closed a sale faster than in-person demonstrations. Since PSS didn’t have the manpower to go out and do one-on-ones with all its prospects, it did the next best thing: developed a video to explain the product and show it in action.
The first video thunder::tech created for PSS was for its ADA-compliant SafetyWall product. Using a combination of live action, 3D animation and motion graphics, the video conveyed the important stats of the product, showed workers setting up the barricades and captured actual sight-impaired individuals interacting with the SafetyWall. PSS used this video as a sales tool in emails, trade shows and one-on-one meetings. It significantly boosted brand awareness and aided in the adoption of this revolutionary new product.
From this first video, PSS and thunder::tech began to regularly create videos to promote new products, instruct customers on best practices, share state DOT testing demonstrations and support other promotional activities.
thunder::tech has been instrumental in promoting some of PSS’s most innovative products like LaneGard folding barricades, BoardWalk temporary portable modular ramps, RoadQuake temporary portable rumble strips and RAPTOR rumble strip handling machines.
In the nearly 10 years thunder::tech and PSS have worked together, we’ve done some very interesting things in pursuit of the perfect video, including:

  • Closing down a residential street for a day

  • Hiring a high school marching band

  • Dumping 10,000 marbles on a city street

  • Traveling out of state for a DOT demonstration

  • Renting a 300-foot RV to serve as a makeup trailer

  • Setting up a faux worksite beside the thunder::tech office

  • Capturing drone footage (legally) in restricted airspace

  • Dressing up as construction workers

  • Renting out the largest green screen studio in the state

  • Having one actress play two roles on screen—simultaneously

After completing several dozen videos together, thunder::tech is still helping PSS push the creative envelope with new videos that boost brand awareness, introduce new products and services and drive sales.

Shaping messaging and the digital experience
As the relationship grew over time, PSS turned to thunder::tech to help make deeper connections with its customers and continue to elevate the brand. In 2013, thunder::tech designed and developed the brand’s first modern website. The site focused on the full line of products and featured a clean and simple interface that made it easy for customers and prospects alike to get the information they needed.
thunder::tech also helped with new product naming, logo design, brochures, business cards, sell sheets, print ads and other ad hoc projects as they arose.
In 2017, PSS named thunder::tech its agency of record in anticipation of several long-term, mission-critical projects. It had begun to reevaluate its brand to ensure it was well-positioned for future growth.
thunder::tech began by taking a deep dive into the internal PSS culture. A brand manifesto provided an inspiring “rallying cry” for employees and helped outline how to talk about the brand to external stakeholders.
By this time PSS had become much more than simply a manufacturer of traffic control products, it was—and is— a leading force in new products and services in the traffic and safety space.
A new vision statement and mission statement was also developed at this time.
A major part of the brand evolution was the design and development of a new website. The new site featured numerous navigation improvements and was optimized for e-commerce.
The visual design of the new site also leveraged engaging lifestyle images to reinforce the company’s real mission: safeguarding the lives of workers, motorists and pedestrians in and around work zones.

An innovative trade show solution

PSS attends an average of 50 trade shows a year, requiring a considerable investment of time, resources and personnel. Their legacy booth featured a looping PowerPoint presentation, but they wanted something that would increase audience participation, reinforce PSS as a technologically astute company and accelerate the sale process.
thunder::tech developed an interactive digital kiosk solution that allowed browsers to access a selection of self-serve information about the brand and their products. This allowed more people to interact with the brand and freed PSS representatives to focus on scheduling demos and meeting with new potential customers.
The kiosks were introduced at the largest industry trade show in North America—ATTSA (the American Traffic Safety Services Association). The first phase of the project allowed potential customers to explore:

  • Company information
  • Product descriptions
  • Training guides
  • Videos
  • White papers and other PDFs

The booth attendees also leveraged the kiosks as a real time training tool.

The second phase of the project introduced video screen savers so the kiosks were always presenting compelling images to the audience, even when idle.

Want to learn more? thunder::tech can help you with video, website design, strategy, messaging, campaign creation and more. Contact us today!

Sign up for our monthly marketing newsletters