Hello Avanti West Coast!
It’s always with a sense of excitement (and trepidation) that you agree to be present at a birth. In this case the birth of Avanti West Coast, the new West Coast franchise operator, Avanti West Coast, taking over from Virgin Trains on 8th December 2019.
Mobilisation teams are amazing beasts – you look back and wonder how as a team you delivered in less than four months the work that it would normally take a year to do. You rely on tremendous colleagues and suppliers, you make decisions with the best information available and you keep the end goal firmly in mind.
For this mobilisation we formed part of FirstGroup’s marketing “dream-team” and our focus was on three key areas: the launch campaign, rebranding and the nectar loyalty partnership.
We developed a creative brief for the launch campaign, managing a comprehensive pitch process culminating in the appointment of Adam & Eve as creative partner. A media buying plan was developed in partnership with The Seven Stars media agency, giving high impact coverage in all key cities along the route, from London to Edinburgh. Media has included high profile outdoor sites, station domination, TV, radio, press and digital.
We managed both the creative design process, the media buying process, brand research and creative testing to ensure we maximised the opportunity to land the new brand name with consumers UK wide.
In parallel, we worked with forpeople to finalise the brand, develop brand guidelines and implement a high impact rebrand across the launch weekend: all stations were rebranded in partnership with National Sign, all print materials, timetables, customer comms materials, on board menus and elements of uniform. The new brand also looked very smart on the new website, app and CRM platform, not to mention the livery on two trains which were wrapped overnight ready for launch.
Finally, we worked in partnership with Nectar to develop a loyalty launch offer for a collectors within a target radius.
And for us Glasgow-based folk, it felt fitting to round off our support by helping pull together a launch event in Glasgow Central station on 9th December, welcoming one of the newly liveried trains and many friends from the railway industry to celebrate with FirstGroup.
We’re so very proud to have been involved and we can’t wait to see what the next few months hold for Avanti West Coast!