South Western Railway launches first integrated brand campaign

Cameos include a CGI sea lion and Queen Elizabeth I.

South Western Railway has launched its first integrated brand campaign since taking over the South Western franchise in 2017.

The playful spot follows one family as they explore London, the New Forest and Bournemouth, making a number of quirky friends along the way (including a sea lion, a mummy and Queen Elizabeth I, for good measure).

Supported by out-of-home, radio, social and influencer activity, the work coincides with investment from the railway company to accommodate more capacity and free Wi-Fi.

Paul Bright, head of sales and marketing at South Western Railway, said: "South Western Railway is excited to be launching our first-ever brand campaign. The campaign showcases some of the great experiences that are available on the South Western Railway network and reminds us that the very best experience is a great day out with the family."

The campaign aims to encourage families to create memories together via South Western Railway's network of short-stay hotspots, in light of research that claimed about 40% of parents worry that their children aren’t as happy as they once were.

"The memories you make on a family day out last a lifetime and that’s the insight we wanted to bring to life with this campaign," according to Steve Hawthorne, creative director at Engine. 

"Given the incredible array of destinations on the South Western Railway network, there’s no shortage of memories waiting to be made. Cue a dancing sea lion, a cycling mummy and a hungry suit of armour."

The work was created by Alicia Job and Jessica Watson, and directed by Dom & Nic through Outsider. The media agency is the7stars, which was appointed earlier this year to the £24m rail media planning and buying account of FirstGroup, which owns South Western Railway.