Picture Credit: Charlotte Graham
CorpComms Awards

Best consumer campaign

Winner 2021
LNER Green Guides
Inspiring people to travel sustainably
Agency: Tin Man Communications

Over the past 18 months, LNER has worked with Tin Man Communications to promote the benefits of travelling on its new, eco-friendly Azuma train with the aim of persuading travellers to ditch the plane or car and travel by rail.

While LNER was aware that customers had an ‘appetite’ to be greener, it also knew that it faced obstacles relating to habitual behaviours, eco-ignorance, the price of train travel and the time involved.

Its strategy was to ‘pull on the emotional levers’ that already exist around flying and the environment in a relatable and non-judgmental way.

The three-part campaign launched with the findings of two research programmes. The first revealed that one in five Brits were shunning air travel in the future as part of the ‘Covid Climate Effect’, which tied into a greater appreciation of nature and the environment during lockdown.

The second revealed that Brits planned to travel 4,039 miles over the next 12 months, as they reunited with friends and family and enjoyed staycations, or roughly 6.7 times the length of the country. In total, this would contribute 949 kilograms of carbon into the atmosphere, with 58 per cent coming from domestic flights.

LNER pointed out that, by substituting just half of these leisure trips to train, carbon emissions would fall by a third.

To bring to life the issue, LNER commissioned renowned sand artist Jamie Wardley to produce sculptures of a train, plane and car from black sand. Each sculpture’s weight and size related to its typical carbon output during a journey between London and Edinburgh, a key LNER route. The sculptures, which took 100 hours to create, were displayed in temporary exhibitions in London, Newcastle and Edinburgh railway stations.

LNER also created branded Green Guides, which included tips from locals, tourism organisations and its colleagues on the best eco-friendly attractions and sustainable places to stay, drink and eat in these three destinations.

Independent research following the conclusion of the eight-month campaign, which generated 54 pieces of coverage, including 33 regionals along LNER’s route, found that 31 per cent were impressed by the sustainability of train travel, 26 per cent planned to consider their carbon footprint when travelling while 45 per cent were more likely to consider LNER when booking train travel.

The judges said: ‘Sustainability and environment is core to the transport sector at the moment. Given this, it is impressive to achieve a clear campaign across both national and localised media.’