IPA Effectiveness Awards 2004: Silver Award - Eurostar

EUROSTAR

Campaign: Fly Eurostar

Client: Eurostar Ltd

Agencies: TBWA\London, Manning Gottlieb OMD

Principal authors: Neil Dawson, TBWA\London; Jon Gittings, Manning

Gottlieb OMD

With contributions from: Greg Nugent, Eurostar Ltd

Media used: Print, outdoor, interactive, PR, direct marketing, ambient,

press, sales promotion

CASE SUMMARY

For six years after it launched in 1994, Eurostar enjoyed growth in sales and volume. It then expanded its services, and by 2000 was carrying seven million passengers a year under the Channel.

But, between 2000 and September 2003, its performance and position weakened.

Low-cost airlines were inflicting considerable damage, and Eurostar was suddenly no longer the exciting new way to travel.

Enter the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Now Eurostar trains in the UK could run faster on a high-speed track designed for them, rather than relying on the already congested rail system designed for the UK's snail-speed trains. An opportunity for Eurostar and its agencies to give a flagging brand a kick start.

The solution was to position Eurostar as the superior alternative to air travel, hence the slogan: "Fly Eurostar." It was a distinctive and aggressive campaign using the 20-minute reduction in journey time to hit back at the airlines.

The relaunch transformed Eurostar's business in the UK. Between September 2003 and March 2004, Eurostar enjoyed two record quarters in terms of volume and sales, and the year-on-year revenue increases more than covered the cost of the entire campaign within the first six months. Its success has caused major competitors to withdraw from the skies on competing routes.

The judges' view

This novel case demonstrates how communication capitalised on Eurostar's 20-minute reduction in journey time to reposition the brand. "Fly Eurostar" positioned Eurostar as better than, as opposed to an alternative to, the plane for the first time. It powerfully communicated Eurostar's benefits through a well-executed integrated campaign that led to an 18 per cent increase in volume.