You vs Train 'Shortcuts'


Client: Network Rail

Trespass on the railway is a major issue. People mistakenly believe they understand all the risks – and are overly confident in their ability to avoid them. If I can safely cross a busy road, I can manage an empty train track, right?

Wrong. We raised awareness of the risks via a unique partnership with Reach Media, who allowed us to break the rules of pre-rolls, to reduce trespass incidents by 19% and increase awareness of the rules of the railway by 17% - in a campaign that outperformed all Network Rail trespass campaign predecessors, on all KPIs. Our demographically broad audience – adults aged 18 to 50 – was only linked by their behaviour. We observed that the most frequently used excuse for trespass around the railway is taking a shortcut – which gave us our hook. Because we all love a shortcut. If we can skip it or fast forward it, we will. As advertisers we fight fingers poised to skip our ads to get to the good stuff – and it was this ‘skipping’ behaviour we sought to leverage. Reach allowed us to run interactive pre-rolls that presented a safety video with a fake ‘Skip ad’ prompt to shortcut it. If users chose to shortcut safety – at any point – a seamlessly served second video delivered the consequences: a graphic VFX wipe out. 55% of users stuck around for the full video – job done. And as for the 45% that tried to skip our ‘boring’ safety ad? Job DONE.