Virgin Trains: Beat the system

Elvis

THE TEAM

John Treacy, Ben Clapp, Paul Becque, Cath Willingham, Tom Duckham, Rosalind Mair, Stuart O'Neill, Dan Noller, Paul Taylor, Scott Hunter.

WHAT IS WONDERFUL ABOUT THIS WORK?

Right now, value perceptions are vital, but people believe pricing complexity is there to hide cheaper tickets. We tapped into the truth that everyone enjoys getting one over on the authorities. With Virgin panache, we helped customers spend less, generating an exceptionally healthy ROI.

WHAT DETAILS OF THE STRATEGY MAKE THIS A WINNING ENTRY?

Virgin Trains’ current franchise re-bid is approaching and being perceived as good value for money is vital. But complex fare pricing structures skew this perception; rail travellers don't just think structures are complicated, they often believe they are to prevent them getting the best fares. Complication and perceived hoodwinking are not associations that sit well with the Virgin ethos, but here lies the opportunity. We're not out to get you - we're helpful, great value and a service that truly understands our customers. This campaign empowered travellers with transparency and education, with Virgin fun and wit. We built reach via outdoor near the Virgin train line and online advertising. Our Facebook game built a sense of community and amplified the key message. By empowering customers, Virgin Trains stood with them against the ‘system’.

HOW DID CREATIVITY BRING THE STRATEGY TO LIFE?