Car v.s. Data

  • Agency : Touché
  • Place : Canada
Advertiser :
  • VIA RAIL is Canada’s rail passenger service corporation
Objective / insight
  • In Canada the car is the fastest option when the road conditions are ideal. Most of the time however, when traffic and bad weather get in the way, the train becomes the best solution
  • When consumers plan a trip from Point A to Point B, their primary concern is to have the shortest travel time. However, because of their unconditional love of cars, drivers tend to be overly optimistic about how long it actually takes to get somewhere by car, failing to factor real-time road conditions into their calculations
  • VIA Rail wanted to remind those drivers in bad traffic condition of the convenience of rail transport and that taking a train could save them time
Implemented strategy
  • The campaign strategy was to leverage real-time traffic and weather data to maximize the relevance of the message for motorists
  • They initiated the conversation when they knew people were going to travel a long distance, showing them that their projected arrival time was longer than expected (and probably longer than traveling by train)
  • They compared real-time travel information for both transportation options: when traffic or bad weather conditions arise, drivers were reminded they took the wrong transportation mode
Technology implemented
  • Partnerships with Google Maps and the Weather Network made our data strategy come to life
  • They created programming interfaces specifically for this campaign and integrated the data feed at each touch point, enabling the real-time data management and synchronization across all out-of-home and digital channels
  • At any given point in time, the message was customized to each consumer. It took into consideration their current geo-position, their predicted end destination and real-time traffic and weather data
  • Train ridership rose by 11.7% year-over-year, and revenues increased by 13.9%, to the expense of cars
  • Contextualized messages generated click rates that were 95% higher than all of our display and mobile campaigns, and they helped increase the conversion rate by 14% on VIA Rail’s booking engine


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