Eurostar uses crowdsourced videos to push brand authenticity ahead of stiffer competition for Channel Tunnel route

Cross-channel train operator Eurostar is to start pushing crowdsourced videos (see below) across its social media feeds as it looks to deepen engagement with travellers in an increasingly competitive landscape.

From today (8 August) Eurostar will start to feature videos submitted by customers on crowdsourcing platform eYeka, as part of plans to build an emotional connection between people and the brand.

Alex Hoyle, brand communications manager at Eurostar told The Drum that the initiative, which forms part of the wider, multi-million Stories Are Waiting campaign, will position the brand as more than just a train service as other competitors move into the market.

German train company Deutsche Bahn AG was granted access to run Channel Tunnel routes last summer, a move which would see Eurostar have to share the route. The entry of Deutsche Bahn, which won’t begin until 2016, will see millions of passengers on German and Dutch routes to the some ten million who currently use Eurostar’s express services.

Hoyle said: “Our ambition is to really drive that emotional connection with our customers. We know that we potentially have cross channel operators coming into our line in the next few years, so our ambition is to start to go beyond that train service and demonstrate that actually we can offer a lot more when it comes to understanding the people that travel with us.

“We want to inspire those connections, whether it’s for business or pleasure, so this campaign is really just the start of that conversation to get them to engage and drive that emotional engagement”.

He had that this campaign marks the first in which it has “really gone out and listened” to customers. “We spent a lot of time in the city examining the specifics of the destination whether that’s through interesting places that we’ve come across, or interesting stories that have been provided to us by our travellers and our staff.

“This campaign was opportunity for us to give back to our audience to showcase some of the exciting, crazy, sometimes weird things that we stumble across in our destinations. We’re all about going beyond the obvious when it comes to the likes of Paris, Brussels and London.”

Now it will turn its focus to its 20th anniversary in November.

Below are five of the videos to be run on Eurostar's digital channels from today. The first prize of £6,400 went to Laurent Piérard from Paris, France, for a video called "On the pavement, in front of me."

The second and third prizes - £3,200 each - went to a collective formed by four creatives: Pierre Demaret, Laurent Delkiet, Mike Wiz, Etienne Bruchet from Paris, France, for two videos called "Sur les rails du passé" and "Une ballade en Asie."

The fourth prize of £1,600 went to Camille Meynard from Brussels, Belgium, for a video called "When In Brussels."

The fifth prize, also £1,600, went to Rita Fazendeiro from Lisbon, Portugal, for a video called "Thank you for visiting London!"

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