Virgin Trains: Don't go Zombie, go Virgin Trains

Principal authors: Paul Becque, Elvis; Zehra Chatoo, Manning Gottlieb OMD
Contributing authors: Federico Forti and Sam Veitch, Brand Science; Anita Wilkins, Manning Gottlieb OMD; Tom Duckham, Elvis;


This is the story of a highly effective as well as highly efficient marketing campaign, active in a difficult trading period. A campaign that took on the might of the car industry and air travel sectors whose advertising for many years had sold the dream of effortless, comfortable travel and the ultimate freedom. The campaign challenged this fantasy and successfully convinced consumers to reappraise and use the train. We broke habits and generated more than a million incremental journeys – shifting travellers from cars and planes.

It's not just about the record-breaking revenue returned by an incredibly bold, stop-you-in-the-street creative concept. It's also about the value of the detailed message planning that went before it and the way the media idea worked to enhance the creative impact.