The SNCF Group has recently adapted its brand strategy to its new organisation, with the aim of making it stronger and more transparent, and SNCF Voyageurs, an independent subsidiary of the French National Railway Company, has since become a leading brand in all of these domains and for its customers. Learn more from Delphine Drutel, Vice President at Rosa Paris, about their first brand film in Dare!.
Can you tell us more about the SNCF’s latest campaign?
Since January 1, 2020, SNCF Voyageurs has reunited all of the SNCF Group’s passenger rail transport activities and expertise, for both daily and long-distance trains. This includes many French railway companies such as the Transilien in Ile-de-France, the regional TER, TGV INOUI, OUIGO, INTERCITES, to travel across France and Europe, and its online travel agency SNCF CONNECT.
Having become a reference and leader in passenger rail transport, SNCF Voyageurs is now introducing its first brand film. The film was launched last week on TV channels, cinemas and digitally, just as the warm weather – and the itch to travel – returns. By affirming the new kind of freedom that the train can offer, the campaign invites people to opt for train travel, thanks to the wide range of offers and destinations SNCF Voyageurs proposes.
Can you explain the choice behind the film’s song “Born To Be Wild”?
Steppenwolf’s hard rock song Born To Be Wild is originally a hymn to the open road and is generally associated with road trips. However, SNCF Voyageurs also sees it as a great opportunity to create a new way of viewing the freedom that trains can offer. It is a form of transition between the old world and the new world, which we want to be more sustainable and more responsible without losing any of the strong emotions. The aim was to gently mock Easy Rider, a movie about two bikers who are traveling from L.A. to New Orleans, and show the modern side of travelling by train – the joy, the encounters, and the values of sharing and discovery associated with travel.
The campaign highlights the sustainable side of SNCF’s transportation, were there any initiatives to reduce the emissions generated by the campaign?
The filming was carried out 100% in France, during the winter, with a very strict control over the CSR impact of each job. We used the natural settings, both to take advantage of the abundance of France’s landscapes and have the possibility of working with a local production team, limiting unnecessary travel. Special attention was also paid to costumes and decoration, which were primarily second-hand and donated to associations after filming. Thanks to these initiatives, more than 10 tons of CO2 emissions were saved.
How does SNCF Voyageurs stand out among its competitors?
SNCF Voyageurs faces two types of competition, modal competition, which includes air and land transport, and rail competition. The power of its coverage, its expertise, and its accessibility through its wide range of offers (in total 15,000 trains per day and 2,500 destinations) are the key elements that make SNCF Voyageurs unique. By regrouping all of its activities around a collective commitment to simpler, more accessible and responsible mobility by train, SNCF Voyageurs made a strategic choice to encourage the option of train travel.
What are the next steps? Are there any further activations?
The film will be used as the common thread throughout the year for more target-focused and front-of-house marketing actions.