V-Line Guilt Trips
V/Line’s Guilt Trip campaign was recognised with the Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix at this 2014 Cannes International Festival of Creativity. Launched in May 2012 the Australian campaign harnessed the power of guilt to motivate young Victorians to leave the bright lights of the city to visit friends and family in the country.
When running a train company, it’s normal for trains to be at or near capacity during peak periods. The trains hardest to fill are those travelling against commuter traffic and those in the middle of the day. V/Line calls these customers its “Visiting Friends and Families”. They represent a potentially huge opportunity if they can be captured, but they are difficult to isolate and as V/Line discovered, even harder to motivate.
Young Victorians were fleeing rural towns for the big city, and put simply, they were just too busy with their new lives to visit friends and relatives back home in the country. And they felt guilty. They felt they were neglecting their friends and family back in the country.
A new product was developed: The Guilt Trip, a pre-purchase ticket that people could send to someone who would feel guilty for not visiting. The ticket was promoted through traditional media and public relations. Online films, regional media and Guilt Trip handbooks were used to get country people to spread the word. Social media was used to enhance the guilt. The Guilt Trip platform was designed to allow users to publicly guilt their family and friends to come home – through Facebook and Twitter.
V-Line saw a 12% increase in off-peak sales with an additional 123,000 tickets sold, smashing their 5% kpi. Guilt Trips generated $4 Million in additional revenue; exceeding KPI by 167%. Consideration also increased with call-center enquiries for VFR travel rising on average 28%, well exceeding the 10% target. The Guilt Trip campaign helped more V/Line employees to realise that they do not simply drive trains; they help to bring loved ones back home to their families, their friends and their country towns. One Guilt Trip at a time.
V-Line Guilt Trips Credits
The Guilt Trip campaign was developed at McCann Melbourne by executive creative director John Mescall, creative directors Annie Price and Pat Baron, art director Matt Stoddart, copywriters Natasha Wood and Tristan Graham, group account director Adrian Mills, account director Alec Hussain, senior account manager Tamara Broman, planners Danish Chan and Karl Bates, creative technologist Ash Pegram, developers Cayne Snowden and Rod Levinton, designers Dave Budd and Melody Yeung, and retoucher Ross Goddard.
agency producers Mark Bradley and Cinnamon Darvall
VLine General Manager of Marketing & Stakeholder Relations Paul Matthews, marketing & Communications Manager Daniel Moloney, strategic Marketing & Campaign Manager Lisa Stolt, marketing assistant Monica Barrow, digital communications advisor Simon Lock.
Filming was shot by director Damien Toogood via Come To Mama with producer Rona Lewis. Post production was done at Cutting Edge by editor Joe Morris, colourist Scott MacLean and producer Sharon Pearson. Music was produced at Song Zu.
Print production was done at The Craft Shop.