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South Western Railway’s animated ad an ode to ‘commuter friendship’


By Amy Houston | Senior Reporter

February 25, 2022 | 3 min read

South Western Railway has released a campaign encouraging people to use its service to reconnect with friends, family and co-workers.


‘Spread Your Wings’ campaign for South Western Railway

‘Spread Your Wings’ is the debut work from creative agency St Lukes for the rail service, and it worked alongside Smith & Foulkes through Nexus Studios. The 40-second spot features two commuter birds, wittily named Sandy C Gull and Wesley Peck, as they journey toward London. Throughout the train ride, they discuss their plans for the day in a conversation packed with bird-inspired wordplay.


“As we finally get back to normality, we’re confident that this new campaign will inspire our customers to spread their wings and get back to the city, while reminding them of all the benefits of traveling with SWR,” said Paul Bright, head of marketing at South Western Railway.

“We are delighted with our new campaign and platform. Our partnership with St Luke’s has got off to a flying start.”

The film has been beautifully animated in 3D with some 2D background work, which adds to the overall atmosphere of the journey. In particular, the use of lighting gives the environment an immersive look and feel.

“The commuting friendship is a very specific relationship. Unlikely to meet socially, but you are always pleased to bump into one another on a South Western Railway train, happy to share easy conversation and comfortable silences,” added Smith & Foulkes, directors at Nexus Studios.

“Sandy and Wes are essentially a very human pair of friends, speaking directly to all of us who are also experiencing a sense of joy as we step back out into the wider world.”

St Luke’s was appointed by South Western Railway in August 2021 after a three-way pitch.

“We couldn’t be more excited to finally see our exciting new campaign and brand world fly,” noted Richard Denney, executive creative director at St Luke’s.

“Wes and Sandy’s friendship, thanks to their chance meeting as commuters on SWR, delivers real warmth and a lovable sense of humor. I challenge even the most cynical of commuters like me to not smile and be inspired to spread their wings.”

South Western Railway: Spread Your Wings by St Luke's

Overall Rating 4/5

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