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By The Drum, Editorial

June 13, 2024 | 5 min read

Taking Government or Public Sector at The Drum Awards for Marketing EMEA 2024 is Stopping Railway Trespass by Launching a Clothing Brand from Golley Slater and Transport for Wales. Here is the award-winning case study.


Marketing needed to:

  • Raise awareness of the new electrification of the Core Valleys rail network.
  • Ensure understanding that overhead line equipment (OLE) could cause fatalities.
  • Discourage young people from trespassing on the tracks (an ongoing issue on the railways in Wales).

In doing so, it needed to contribute to:

  • The reduction of disruption on railways (in terms of time and cost).
  • Crucially, decrease the number of deaths on the railway lines.


To find a solution to the problem, we needed to think, primarily, like a teenage boy. Academic research into the psychology of this audience revealed a key characteristic of adolescence is impulsivity and a desire for short-term reward. What differentiates boys from girls, however, is that males tend to perceive dangerous behaviors as less risky and are less sensitive to negative outcomes than females. Our own research corroborated this – focus groups revealed teenage boys to be very focused on the moment. They were accustomed to a life of instant gratification – content at their fingertips, products a click away, entertainment on tap. The idea of waiting, of delay, or even what might happen tomorrow, was rarely on their radar. Consequences, therefore, felt far off and intangible. The kinds of things preached about by boring authority figures like teachers and parents.

Our strategy needed to get across the idea of consequences to teenagers. But it needed to do it on their terms, not in the terms used by authority figures. Rather than making our point through traditional safety messages, we would need to piggyback on the stuff that interested them and find the answer in their cultural sphere. In essence, we needed to get them to understand the risks of railway safety, without talking about railway safety.

So, we tapped into one of the most prevalent youth trends of today - the world of pre-loved clothes. Thrifting apps like Vinted and Depop are awash with second-hand items, where an old Nike hoodie or a Fila bum-bag can live on, seemingly forever.

But we subverted the idea of everything having a second chance, by creating our own pre-loved clothing brand - ‘No Second Chances’.


Our clothes had a twist. They had been owned by people who had lost their lives while trespassing on railways. We designed a new range of unique clothes that populated our own Depop style website, supported by social ads and digital six sheets across South Wales.

We brought the brand to the streets of Cardiff, by creating a pop-up store in Wales’ largest shopping centre.

Actors, posing as shop assistants, showed youngsters around the store, offering items that had once been fashionable but were now torn and scorched. Each piece carried its own label with the tragic story of the person who last wore it.

We even created a ‘behavioural changing room’ where we replaced mirrors with screens showing the stories of victims.

The ultimate message – while the clothes might live on, trespassers on electrified tracks won’t.

The experience at the store was filmed and shared online, targeted at the young audience we needed to reach. OOH and digital/social ads directed people to the store and encouraged young people to visit. In addition to this, we set up posters around stations in Cardiff and the valleys. These carried a more hard-hitting message showing the effects of electrification on the clothes that young people wear. We encouraged young Welsh influencers, popular among our target audience, to create content in their own unique style to help us communicate the risks of trespassing. We purposely stepped back from involvement in the content creation process so that the influencers could communicate in their own authentic way.


The campaign results exceeded expectations.

  • Raise awareness of the new electrification:
    • Awareness of the new electrification tracks increased by 17% (from 55% to 64% net awareness).
    • Awareness that the electrified cables are ‘always on’ increased by 12% (from 67% to 75%).
  • Ensure understanding that overhead line equipment could cause fatalities:
    • Awareness of death risk of OLE increased by over 4 percentage points in brand tracking.
    • 5,000 new visitors visited the website to find out more about the risks of OLE.
  • Discourage young people from trespassing:
    • 50% drop in trespassers in 2023 vs 2022.
    • Since our campaign and electrification went live there have been no deaths recorded on the South Wales valleys line.

Ready to get your work recognized on a global stage? Enter The Drum Awards today. Need more inspiration, read our Award Winning Case Studies.

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