The Drum Awards Travel Marketing Awards Case Studies

How moving TikTok videos rekindled our love for rail travel


By Awards Analyst, writer

December 7, 2022 | 3 min read

Spark Foundry and the Rail Delivery Group won at The Drum Awards for Social Media 2022 in the Largest ROI From a Social Media Campaign or Strategy category. Here, we find out more about what went into the campaign.

Spark Foundry

How moving TikTok videos rekindled our love affair with rail travel

18 months of lockdowns necessitated getting public transport back on track, with the UK's National Rail scrambling to rekindle our dormant reliance on the train network for leisure travel.

Targetting a return to 85% of pre-Covid levels of rail use, the campaign sought to overcome fears of mass transport by presenting the freedoms afforded by escaping the congestion of the road.

The brief

Spark Foundry was asked to prepare the public for a resumption of historic travel patterns by coaxing people out of buses and cars and back onto trains.

Motivating people to get on board with the idea was a focus on travel to see loved ones, after so many (especially the disabled and those living with a terminal illness) suffered from prolonged isolation.

The idea

The social media-led approach strove for authenticity by prioritizing TikTok to share the travel stories of influencers. This included the story of influencers such as Your Boy Moyo, who booked a train to pay a surprise visit to a friend battling cancer.

Each video was optimized to make use of jump cuts and audio tags, with viewers invited to share their own moving stories to a hashtag.

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The results

The purpose-led campaign paid dividends ,with train travel for leisure use beating targets and healthy return-on-investment figures. 785,000 videos were generated organically as a result of the hashtag challenge.

This viral success helped to deliver 1.7bn impressions, with campaign recall standing above category benchmarks.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Social Media 2022. Find out how you can enter now.

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