Monday, 27 June 2011

East Coast gives 25 reasons to try first class train travel

East Coast Trains is encouraging people to try their new, improved first class service by making 100,000 seats available at a bargain price.

The promotion offers first class travel on the East Coast network at just £25 for a one-way journey - giving people a real incentive to either upgrade from standard class or switch to the train for their journey.

Tickets can be booked exclusively from a dedicated page on the East Coast website highlighting 25 reasons why people should consider first class train travel. The promotion is linked to a recent TV campaign which we discuss on the blog here.

Great example of how to gain interest in a premium product, although as many retailers are now finding out, maintaining benefits not discounts is the better long-term strategy.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Reading Buses ask us to help people

On the back of rising petrol prices and lack of knowledge about bus travel, Reading Buses invited us to produce an integrated campaign to encourage modal shift in the town.

The simple, in-your-face campaign, consisting of 48 & 6 sheets, petrol pump ads, direct mail, on-bus material and screens at The Oracle shopping centre directs consumers to the website

The website not only highlights the great value fares that are available to the people of Reading but also offers those who are wary of using the bus, a pack containing information on their specific route - intended to make their transition to bus travel that bit easier.

The direct mail targeted potential customers on Premier Routes 33/33A with a free journey when travelling with a fare paying customer.

The campaign is scheduled to run for a minimum of six weeks.

free Whoppers, for staring at Whoppers

Burger King in America has given away 50,000 Whoppers this week and counting on TV in a very clever new campaign.

If you stare at a spinning Whopper for 5 minutes – you get a free Whopper. If you stare at it for 10 minutes you get 2 free Whoppers, and so on.

So far, Americans have stared for over 300,000 minutes. If viewership continues at this pace, they will have stared at a spinning Whopper for 13,500 hours (810,000 minutes) before the weekend comes around.

But how do they know people are actually watching I hear you ask? Well because alerts pop up at random intervals. If the viewer doesn't press the corresponding button on their remote, they don’t get the Whopper. Simple and very clever.

It begs the question, would people stare at a spinning bus or train for a free ride? Hmm can't really see Buslust!

Friday, 10 June 2011

ASDA advertising #FAIL

Chiltern fight back in their battle with Virgin

In the battle for business passengers on the Birmingham to London route, Chiltern Railways has become the first rail operator in the UK to offer free wireless internet access.

The route, which is one of the most competitive around, has been the subject of aggressive marketing by Virgin over the last couple of years - largely targeting Chiltern's slower comparative journey times. (See below)

But Chiltern are fighting back with this latest offer, and coupled with a £250 million investment in upgrading the route that reduces their quickest journey time between the cities to 90 minutes - things have just got a little more interesting.

It will be interesting to see how they sell the proposition to win the wallets of a lucrative commuter market.

Monday, 6 June 2011

transport livery gets the advertising treatment

Have you spent too much money building awareness of your identity to even consider this or if you could spend the extra revenue it generated - would you consider it?

Reckon I know what most customers would choose...

British Rail get some home truths

There is a great story that does the rounds of the advertising world about a British Rail pitch.

An agency called ABM were pitching for the account against some very good agencies but they were the underdogs. If they were to stand a chance they had to find a way to prove they knew something the other agencies didn’t.

Legend has it that on the day of the pitch, the top management of British Rail turned up at ABM, walked into reception to find it deserted. The chairman checked his watch, they were on time. He looked around, no one - just a very scruffy reception area. Crumpled newspapers, litter, cigarette ends on the floor, cushions with holes burned in them. This looked like the worst agency they’d been in.

Eventually a scruffy woman appeared and sat behind the desk. She ignored them and started rummaging in a drawer. The chairman coughed, she ignored him. He coughed again, nothing.

He said “Excuse me, we’re here to see….” The woman said “Be with you in a minute love.” He said “But we have an appointment….” She said “Can’t you see I’m busy?” The chairman said “This is outrageous. We’ve been waiting fifteen minutes.” The woman said “Can’t help that love.”

The chairman said “Right that’s it, we’re leaving.” And the top management of British Rail started to walk out. At that moment a door opened and out stepped the head of the agency.

He’d been watching everything. He shook the chairman’s hand warmly.

He said “Gentlemen, you’ve just experienced what the public’s impression of British Rail is.

Now, if you’ll come this way, we’ll show you exactly how we’re going to turn that around.”

And they took the British Rail management into their boardroom and went through an all-singing, all-dancing presentation of how bright the future could be, if ABM was their agency. Which, of course, it became.

A great example not only of how an agency can approach a pitch but also of an ignorance to customer perception that can surround public transport, even now.