Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R has been handed the &£7m task of persuading rail travellers to book seats through Virgin Rail’s online service “thetrainline.com”.
The service was launched by Virgin in January to complement its telephone booking system. Virgin claims to have 200,000 registered users – a figure it hopes will grow rapidly following a &£10m marketing push.
Media will be bought by Manning Gottlieb Media, and direct marketing is through Exposure.
Rainey Kelly was handed the business without a pitch, adding to the &£10m Virgin Trains business it already holds.
The new campaign will involve television, press, poster and Internet ads. They will target general travellers and personal assistants who book train journeys for their bosses.
Virgin Trains commercial director Mark Furlong says: “Not only does thetrainline.com offer users a one-stop shop where they can plan, book and even reserve seats, we’re also supporting it with &£1-off fares to promote the Net as a booking channel.”
But the costly marketing campaign is likely be a one-off. Rainey Kelly head of account management James Murphy says: “The spend will be hard and fast for a year. We want to build awareness and a regular user base – fast. Once people get used to using it, they’ll keep using it.”