Merseyrail Vs LNER

The other day I was at the cinema watching the Oscar award-winning Green Book, definitely recommend for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. While many may have drawn similarities to LNER’s Journey Home (Anomaly) and British Airways’ Made By Britain (Ogilvy) both shown before the film, if paying attention, I had another campaign come to mind. I was reminded of Merseyrail’s Great Days Out campaign by Loaf Agency after watching Journey Home. Not due to them selling the same service but their approach to the sell.

LNER – Journey Home

LNER’s Journey Home comically narrates the origins of an assorted train of people as they make their way home. Travellers have come from reenacting battles and judo defeats. One traveller has even nodded off waking up bewildered to a coach filled with animated sheep, beautifully done by The Mill.

To introduce the new Azuma trains in 2019 LNER released this advert showcasing the many journeys they get to be a part of. Journey Home aims to be relatable to a wide array of people not just with the characters shown but with the scenery too. Travelling by train across almost anywhere in the UK we can relate to seeing “bridges and rivers and streams and clouds” and all of the green fields we see in the video.

Merseyrail – Great Days Out

With the goal to get people thinking of trains as more than just a commuting vehicle Loaf agency produced the campaign Great Days Out. The printed out-of-home (OOH) marketing campaign consisted of train carriages taken over by circus acts, a DJ, zoo animals and many more.

Image courtesy of Loaf Agency.

With so much to see the explosion of colour and fun grabs the attention of anyone passing these posters. Leaving audiences with the main copy “Great days/nights out start on the train” plants the idea of using the train next time they go out. It may even awaken them from their daily commute routine.

Image courtesy of Loaf Agency.

Loaf really did their research when creating this campaign and it shows here. Audience research showed that most people thought of trains for commuting and cars for leisure even though many said that there was something magical about a day out when travelling by train. This research ignited the creative to the Great Days Out campaign showing how the excitement starts on the train.

Image courtesy of Loaf Agency.

Comparing to the previous year the campaign boosted ticket sales by 11% and organic traffic to the site by 13%. The biggest achievement here was probably the 79% increase of views to the Merseyrail’s event site. The numbers really speak for themselves here and show again how doing your research and knowing your audience really does help.


I said at the beginning it was the approach to the sell that made me link these two campaigns. This may seem a little odd with them running across different formats but they both celebrate the excitement of travelling by train and diversity.

Diversity is shown by the array of people in LNER Journey Home advert as we see business people to young judo opponent. This diversity is obvious giving audiences at least someone to relate to, for me, it’s probably the man falling asleep. Merseyrail, however, is diverse in a much more subtle way. The campaign features fewer people due to the format of print here, logistically cheaper too, it’s the various activities that are illustrated here appealing to a broad range of people.

Image courtesy of Loaf Agency.

Where Merseyrail may be subtle with their diversity it definitely isn’t with excitement. The whole campaign is exploding with excitement drawing you in and making you want to be a part of it. Loaf show us that the excitement stretches behind-the-scenes too. It may seem like a see-saw of subtly with these two campaigns as we see LNER not so explosive with their excitement. This is mainly due to the main difference in these campaigns. Where Merseyrail encourages going out and about by rail LNER showcases the journey home after exciting, or not so exciting, days out and about. LNER show us the aftermath of excitement rather than the excitement of the build-up to a good day out.

Both of these campaigns work to their formats both reaching a diverse audience rather than limiting themselves to a niche audience. Unfortunately, I was unable to get any figures on how well the LNER advert did on boosting sales to compare.

I hope you have enjoyed my brief comparison of LNER’s Journey Home and Merseyrail’s Great Days Out campaign. As always, I would love to see your comments below and I’m always up for a discussion on any of my blog topics if you want to drop me a message via LinkedIn or Instagram. Which campaign got you wanting to hop on the train for your next outing?

Featured image courtesy of The Mill/Loaf Agency.


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