East Coast Trains TV ad lacks benefits

The ad shares the journey of comic and impressionist Rory Bremner, as he travels up to Edinburgh on an East Coast service.

Although it's beautifully shot, the ad seems more like self promotion for the east coast itself rather than the train service that shares its name.

It shows the product in all its glory but where are the benefits (a subtle hint about journey times and wi-fi apart)? Where's my reason to travel by train? What's the key customer take out from the communication? Does it need a strap line to tie it all together?

Like I said, it's a lovely advert just not necessarily an effective one.

There is also another with Vic Reeves...


  1. east coast is not a commutter railway, it's a business travel/lesuire railway so this is about introducing the new brand, and the fact that the line gives you time to think, take in the scenery etc - not every ad has to be about benefits - tell me the benefits in apple's wonderful ipod ads? - yet they worked a treat.

  2. On the contrary, Apple is regarded within the industry as the pinnacle of specific, benefit-led advertising.

    The iPod was launched not with " a world class mp3 player" or "a whole new way to enjoy music" but "a thousand songs in your pocket."

    They were not the first company invent or sell an MP3 player. But they were the first to advertise it with a simple benefit that any man in the street could understand and, more importantly, want.

    Also, regarding your other point, if the ads are about introducing the new brand, and the fact that the line gives you time to think, take in the scenery etc...

    A. What is the brand? Where is it shown? You obviously know the objective of this campaign, but to a potential customer who hasn't had the privilege of digesting all the marketing speil, it is not obvious who? what? or why?

    B. Any train/plane/coach/bus/ferry journey gives you time to think and take in scenery, why should I get your service?

  3. yes, but this operator exists in a monopoly situation. if you want to see the scenery around durham and berwick etc. this is the ONLY service to do so.

  4. Bodger, that's a good point. But unless you know how the industry works, (and 99.9% of potential customers don't) you wouldn't know that!

    Why not use that as the benefit/USP in the ad?

    1. Rols, it doesn't have to be about brutally highlighting the USP's in adverts these days. I feel society is sick of a hard sell and having it shoved in their faces. This advert is more about the perceptual and subconscious, creating a relationship with the customer. It's not just a train ride, it's an experience. I find the USP to be the experience and the benefits like wifi, trolley service, train times etc to be subtly added.

      I do understand your point of view and it won't work for everyone.


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