LONDON VIRGINS for Eurostar

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LONDON VIRGINS

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Industry Transport, travel & tourism
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Travel, Tourism & Leisure
Advertiser: EUROSTAR
Product/Service: HIGH SPEED TRAINS
Copywriter / Creative Director: François Daubresse (TBWA\Brussels)
Art Director: Benoit Hilson (TBWA\Brussels)
Creative Director: Jan Macken (TBWA\Brussels)
Account Director: Nathalie Ducène (TBWA\Brussels)
Planner: Sylvie Dewaele (TBWA\Brussels)
Account Executive: Yolanda Lopez Gomez (TBWA Brussels)
Managing Director: Laurent Deconinck (MAGMA)
Account Manager: Carole Jacobs (MAGMA)
Director Sales & Marketing Belgium: Anne-Françoise Piette (Eurostar)
Marketing Manager Belgium: Elise Min (Eurostar)
Communications Manager: Ilde De Martelaere (Eurostar)
Trade Communications: Saar Meylemans (Eurostar)
Media placement: Viral Campaign/Online Film - Youtube, GarageTV - 15/10/2009
Media placement: Website - Londonvirgins.be - 09/10/2009
Media placement: Online Bannering - Standaard.be, Nieuwsblad.be - 15/10/2009
Media placement: Outdoor Poster (Large Scale) - Mega Medium - 22/10/2009

Summary of the Campaign
On November 15th 2009, Eurostar wanted to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Conventionally brands celebrate past accomplishments. Instead, we wanted to speak about the future and Eurostar’s ambition to convince every Belgian to visit London, the most exciting and innovative city in Europe. On the day of the 15th anniversary, we organised a London Virgins train. A train with 750 Belgians that had never been to London before, accompanied by 20 journalists. These London Virgins got a guided tour through London. The journalists could experience how the London Virgins really were impressed with London, and could really see and understand the effect London and Eurostar have on Belgians. The London Virgins train got massive PR attention. Via traditional press (radio, TV, newspapers) and word-of-mouth by the London Virgins themselves. And via the social networks, where many Belgians followed the action.

The Goal
Generate attention and interest from press and public for an event that is of little relevance to them.

Results
The free PR coverage exceeded largely the entire investments for the campaign.

Execution
LONDON VIRGINS: an anniversary train full of people who have never been to London before. The campaign consisted of 2 phases: 1. The recruitment of “London Virgins”: in train stations around Belgium, people were asked if they were a London Virgin. If so, they got a free ticket for the London Virgins train. 2. The London Virgins train of November 15th. 750 Virgins and 20 journalists got a fully guided day trip

The Situation
On November 15th 2009, Eurostar was going to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Exactly a year earlier, Eurostar had launched very important innovations: an new train station in London (St. Pancras) and an important reduction of the travel time (from 2h15 to 1h15). This event generated major PR attention. The anniversary of 2009 risked to become a non-event: there was absolutely nothing relevant to announce to press and public.

The Strategy
Speak about the future rather than celebrate the past. London is a very exciting city, less than 2 hours away from Brussels. But research showed that 1 out of 2 Belgians have never been to London. So there was still a large target that could be initiated in London and everything the city has to offer.