ADVALUE: VIEWPOINT

George Marcall Group sales and marketing director Airtours The advent of one of the greatest technological feats this century is worth applauding.

George Marcall

Group sales and marketing director Airtours

The advent of one of the greatest technological feats this century is worth applauding. However, I doubt if anyone could have foreseen the futuristic approach to advertising taken by Eurostar.

In the past, one could not but adore the comfort and style of British Rail’s “Relax” campaign from Saatchi & Saatchi with its sepia tones, but does the product deliver and meet the customer’s expecta tions? I think not.

Compared with BR, Eurostar has been seen to work and function extremely well (notwith standing the French rail strike) and will be a normal feature for business and leisure travellers in the future.

Reviewing the campaign I must have missed the message behind the TV advertising. The surreal approach is weird – although unusual and futuristic, the overall effect, in my opinion, is cold and impersonal. No doubt the horror movie-style sound track depicts speed and efficiency, and certainly creates mystery and suspense, but thoughts of danger and risk also spring to mind.

The 60-second ad is certainly different and employs all the latest creative computer effects, but where is the memorable moment? What is it? From my perspective the TV campaign doesn’t pass muster. I will certainly be a consumer of this product but the campaign, including the bland press and posters highlighting the benefits of price (a key objective in the “more for less” decade of the Nineties) would not encourage me to purchase.

As I said, Eurostar through the Channel Tunnel is one of the amazing achievements of the 20th century and I am convinced this advertising initiative will win awards in some quarters, even if it is somewhat over-indulgent. The trains will increase their frequency and the consumers will flock to experience the speed and the directness of the connections to Europe.

But if, as I believe, the objective is to recruit passengers for Eurostar sooner and with more consistency, I am not convinced this campaign will assist.

I still feel more comfortable and warm with good old British Rail, even if it does take a little longer to get there.

Recommended

Sony signs up boxing ‘Prince’

Marketing Week

Boxing star “Prince” Naseem Hamed is about to sign a six-figure advertising and sponsorship deal with Sony to support the launch of its PlayStation games machine. The flamboyant World Boxing Council international super bantam-weight champion asked his brother to conduct negotiations with Sony. His brother confirms negotiations are underway, but adds: “We are still at […]

Dell lures marketing directors from rivals

Marketing Week

Personal computer manufacturer Dell, the world’s biggest seller of PCs over the phone, has poached two new marketing directors from its rivals. Compaq marketing services group manager Roger Berry becomes marketing director for the Dell Direct division. Nigel Batterton joins from Hewlett-Packard to take up the post of marketing director for Dell Corporate. Batterton was […]

5m First Direct is up for review

Marketing Week

First Direct, Midland Bank’s telephone banking subsidiary, is reviewing its 5m account out of Chiat/Day. The bank has shortlisted WCRS, Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters and Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow & Johnson. Chiat/Day has not been asked to repitch but its grip on the 13.3m (Register-MEAL) Midland Bank account is thought to be secure. Recent industry […]

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber

    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    Subscribers get unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing and world-renowned columnists, alongside carefully curated reports and briefings from Econsultancy. Find out more.

    If you are an existing print subscriber find out how you can get access here.

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

    If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here

    Subscribers get unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing and world-renowned columnists, alongside carefully curated reports and briefings from Econsultancy. Find out more.

    If you are an existing print subscriber find out how you can get access here.

    Subscribe now