Connex Train Etiquette

Connex, Melbourne’s train network, tackled poor commuter etiquette in 2007 with the help of fictional self help author Martin Merton, played by American actor Jim Knobeloch, best known for his role as “Jake Slicker” on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

Martin Merton promotes bookThe campaign began with the development of an American website,, announcing that Merton was heading to Australia to write his next title, There’s No ‘I’ in Carriage: a self-help guide to becoming a more considerate commuter, a parody of the saying “There’s no ‘I’ in team”.

Members of the Melbourne public were invited in press advertisements to send in their concerns about behaviour that should be addressed in the etiquette book. Hundreds of contributions were received and used as the basis of the new book.

Martin Merton appeared at the launch on Wednesday 29 August, along with TV presenter Lauren Newton and Collingwood Football player Shane Wakelin. He appeared at Melbourne train stations in September to sign copies of the book and hand them out.

In December Martin came out with a Mega Mix Christmas CD.

A series of viral videos was used to highlight three questions of rail travel etiquette…

Legs Wide Shut

Meet Tim Robinson, offensive leg spreader. Dr. Martin Merton uses fear of chickens to help gentleman commuters who think it’s acceptable to spread their legs on the train.

Click on the image below to play the video.

The Unkindness of Strangers

Dr. Martin Merton helps commuters who believe it is ok to let one rip on trains.

Click on the image below to play the video.

Putting the Mute Back in Commuter

Dr. Martin Merton uses a shiny knob to help the loud mobile phone talkers who refuse to converse at a reasonable level.

Click on the image below to play the video.


The Train Etiquette campaign was developed at Leo Burnett, Melbourne, by creative director Jason Williams, copywriter Andrew WOodhead, art director Richard Walker, account director Mick McKeown and agency producer Mel Herbert.

“A parody of the self-help industry seemed the ideal way to tackle the touchy subject of commuter behaviour as it allowed us to suggest change without actually telling the general public how to behave,” said Jason Williams, Creative Director.

Filming was shot by Bradley Howard via Monkey House, Brisbane, with producer Nathan Earl.

Book poster image courtesy of Matt Lew, Flickr.