GWR Walk the Line
First Great Western, franchise operators of the railway linking London and the South West, had a big year in 2015. They were investing a record amount in improving and electrifying the line and returning to the name first given to the railway by Isambard Kingdom Brunel – The Great Western Railway.
Problem was, these improvements were to infrastructure, so benefits would be both intangible and invisible. First Great Western wanted to announce a rebrand and communicate the future benefits of their investment
The story starts with Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Britain’s most famous engineer, who walked from London to Bristol in 1887, surveying the route of the Great Western Railway.
It ends with his great, great, great grandson, another Isambard Brunel, who – in 2015 – walked the very same railway line to show how the Great Western Railway continues to transform the country, connecting industries and communities in the West of England to one another and the Capital.
People had forgotten the benefits of GWR – how it connects the West to the rest of the UK, bringing tourists, trade, prosperity, people – and pride to the region. We created our own content of Isambard’s journey, producing ten interactive video packages which were shared across social media, broadcast and print media, including The One Show.
The campaign led to a significant change in GWR’s brand perception. In February, ahead of the campaign, GWR’s sentiment score was 59.90%. By the end of September, this had climbed to 63.85%. This was despite industrial action, fare increases and significant disruptions to the service over the same period. But Walk the Line didn’t just improve perception, it improved sales and new visitors to the website year-on-year.