Virgin Trains Promo, Case study DON'T GO ZOMBIE by Dare

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Industry Railways, Travel Agencies, Tour Operators & Travel Services
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Dare
Executive Creative Director Danny Brooke-Taylor
Art Director Lee Smith
Copywriter Nick Bird
Designer Kerry Roper
Illustrator Marek Oleksicki
Released May 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Travel, Entertainment & Leisure
Product/Service: TRAIN TRAVEL
Agency: DARE
Date of First Appearance: May 24 2010
Entrant Company: DARE, London, UNITED KINGDOM
Executive Creative Director: Danny Brooke-Taylor (DARE)
Copywriter: Nick Bird (DARE)
Art Director: Lee Smith (DARE)
Designer: Kerry Roper (DARE)
Illustrator: Marek Oleksicki (DARE)
Account Director: Mark Nelkin (DARE)
Art Buyer: Louise Tummon (DARE)
Media placement: Press - National and regional press - 24th May 2010
Media placement: Outdoor (96 sheet, 48 sheet, mega 6 sheet) - Along the West Coast mainline train route - London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manch - 24th May 2010
Media placement: Radio - Regional stations - 24th May 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Virgin Train’s brief for 2010 was to get new travelers onto their trains, new travelers who use their car or ‘plane rather than travelling by train. Our work therefore needed to cause behavioural shift, shaking people out of their ingrained travel habits and onto Virgin Trains.
We discovered that people default to the car / ‘plane as they believe that these modes of transport offer the greatest travel freedom. What they forget is that the reality is the antithesis of this, involving high levels of mental and physical stress. Real travel freedom is actually found on-board a Virgin Train, stretched out, with a good book and a coffee, whizzing to your destination at 125mph.
Our work therefore made this new audience feel the reality of their car / ‘plane journeys, and thus reconsider their mode of travel and Virgin Trains in the process.

Creative Execution
The campaign idea dramatizes, in tongue-in-cheek fashion, what happens to people when enduring the stresses and pain of car and ‘plane journeys: stripped of their humanity and turned into zombies. By so vividly bringing to life the frustration, anger and stresses of travelling by car and plane in familiar graphic novel artistry, we literally turn other modes of transport into the baddies. In contrast we see how people travelling by Virgin Trains are fully, happily, human, enjoying their journeys to the full. The work presents a simple choice: ‘Don’t Go Zombie, Go Virgin Trains. The media strategy was to talk to our audience at the most frustrating points of their journey, when we knew people would be feeling ‘most Zombie’. The campaign could therefore provide a positive wakeup call, communicating at moments when the audience was most sensitive to our message.

Results and Effectiveness
We shook car and plane users out of their usual travel habits: 10% more car, and 11% more ‘plane users were ‘less likely’ to use car or plane for business travel.
Consideration for train travel increased (up 20% for leisure plane users; up 15% for leisure car users), as did consideration for Virgin Trains specifically (11% increase for regular and 8% increase for infrequent users).
Crucially, it also made vital non-users 7% more likely to travel Virgin Trains.
This behavioural shift saw us achieve the highest ever ROMI for a Virgin Trains campaign.
(source: Synovate Advertising and Brand Tracking Dec.’10)