IPA Effectiveness Awards 2006: Silver Award - Virgin Trains

Campaign title: The return of the train
Client: Virgin Trains
Agencies RKCR/Y&R; Manning Gottlieb OMD
Authors: Lucy Howard, RKCR/Y&R; Claire Marker, Manning Gottlieb OMD
Contributing Authors: David Bratt, Jack Bowley and Sally Dickerson,
Manning Gottlieb OMD; Steve Perry, Virgin Trains
Media used: TV, print, outdoor, interactive, radio, DM, cinema, ambient,

IN A NUTSHELL: A modern take on the "golden era" of rail travel made Virgin Trains the nation's favourite transport provider and generated £29.7 million incremental revenue at an ROI of £4.20.

SUMMARY: "The return of the train" was the highly successful result of an involvement-based strategy aimed at combating the emotional pull of the car and the plane. The campaign provided a modern take on the "golden era" of rail travel with a romantic celebration of cutting-edge innovation with "the good old days" train service, supported by rational support in announcement-orientated media. Overall journey numbers increased significantly over the campaign period when compared with the same period the previous year. West Coast revenues were up 32 per cent year-on-year, and the incremental revenue generated from advertising was £29.7 million, representing an ROI of £4.20.

JUDGE'S COMMENT: With negative perceptions of British trains peaking, the task facing Virgin Trains was tough. The campaign was based on an ingenious idea and was brilliantly executed with engaging creative and intelligent media including staff involvement. The paper was compelling, beautifully written and well deserving of a Silver Award.

- Tess Alps, chief executive, Thinkbox.

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