Storycatchers – Network Rail
Trespass on the railway is a major issue. In 2018-9, more than 10,000 incidents on the UK’s railways delayed 440 trains a day — and trespass kills. On average, every hour a person puts their life at risk by trespassing, causing 20 entirely avoidable deaths.
Trespass is often considered a young person’s problem, but 75% of trespassers are aged over 18. The challenge for Network Rail was to prevent adults from taking unnecessary risks with their personal safety by increasing awareness of the dangers of trespassing in hotspots across the country.
The biggest excuse given for trespassing is to take a shortcut. While impatience is a fact of modern life, it’s universally understood shortcutting safety is bad. Network Rail needed to hammer this message home.
The big creative idea at the heart of the campaign was centred around the insight that shortcutting behaviour is widespread in everyday life, with 84% of people watching YouTube videos on their phone waiting to skip the ad in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….
Working with UM, Mediaocean as well as Reach to access local news brands at the heart of communities, Network Rail leveraged this insight by creating a video experience with a fake ‘Skip ad’ button that allowed people to see what happens if they try to shortcut safety. Those watching the video to the end received the safety messages; those who skipped were served with a graphic VFX wipe out of the presenter, followed by a stark delivery of the dangers around railways.
A huge 93% of non-skippers and 91% of skippers considered the messaging ‘believable’, while 89% of skippers reported that ‘the message grabbed my attention’. There were over 2.5 million impressions between 16 May and 30 June 2022, with 45% attempting to shortcut the advert. The campaign delivered a 17% increase in safety awareness and 76% took action after seeing the ad. One in four told their friends about the campaign, while over 50% visited the Network Rail or You vs Train website.
It was absolutely genius that they managed to get a tricky message across in such a poignant and unique way.Anna Braithwaite, marketing director, M&S
impressions between 16 May and 30 June
of skippers reported that ‘the message grabbed my attention’