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Train firm Northern invests £2m in marketing campaign


Northern has invested in its biggest ever marketing campaign, to promote its new “We Are Northern” brand positioning.

The train firm worked with creative agency Oliver’s Manchester office, which won the brief following a 7-way pitch; and Mediacom in Leeds, which handled its media planning and buying.

The campaign will run across television, radio, OOH, digital, employee engagement, PR and experiential. The aim being to increase awareness of the brand, grow its off-peak leisure travel and promote online sales and app downloads.

“Our new marketing campaign isn’t about the heritage of rail or the service; it isn’t even about the journey. Instead, we are focusing on the emotional benefits people get from a great day out. The best thing about using Northern’s trains to explore what the North of England has to offer is going to be the memories created,” explained Phil Gates, interim head of brand and business development for Northern.

The messaging is intended to “inspire and excite people living in the region” about the destinations nearby. User generated content is also being encouraged, with passengers prompted to post messages about their trips.

“To have been appointed by Northern and then to lead the creative for its biggest campaign to date is a fantastic step in further establishing our credentials outside of London,” explained Sharon Whale, chief executive officer, Oliver Group UK.

“There’s so much to see and do in the North that people may not be aware of. We wanted to capture those moments in the creative, many of which revolve around enjoying the great British outdoors, and communicate the personality of the North – all of which can be enjoyed via a train journey with Northern.”

Northern is operated by Arriva Rail North.

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