Southern Railway promotes online ticket sales with comedy ad

Southern Railway is launching a light-hearted ad campaign to encourage consumers to explore destinations across its network over the summer and book online.

Two 30-second and 10-second spots will break on Monday, created by VCCP.

The 'Southern Adventure' features the brand's plump Mexican mascot, Loco Toledo, dressed in a yellow and green lycra superhero costume. Loco Toledo explores the south coast by dipping his toes in the cold sea and eating cockles and candy floss.

The campaign will also run across radio, press, online, outdoor and direct from today, promoting Southern Railway's 25% discount from today until 27 August 2011 on Advance and Off-Peak train tickets booked online.

A 32-page 'Southern Adventure' activity book will be available for children, packed with destination ideas for families to visit on the Southern network and activities to do once they've reached their destination.

The copywriter on the ad was Gavin Taylor while art direction came from Gavin McDonald. The production company was Another Film Company and the ad was directed by Nick Jones. OMD handled the media planning and buying.

Alistair Buckle, head of marketing for Southern Railway, said: "This is another great innovative VCCP campaign which we hope will really enthuse families to travel by rail to many of the great destinations on the Southern network in the Summer months.

"We're confident this distinctive campaign will help us migrate rail ticket sales online."

Fergus Hynd, account director at VCCP said: "It's unusual for a regional train brand to be so committed to creating utility and content for its passengers. But our clients at Southern continue to give us the opportunity to push category boundaries and the business results speak for themselves in justifying the strength of their conviction."