Outsmart winter with VIA Rail | Cossette

Outsmart winter with VIA Rail


Avoiding miserable winter weather with a safe and efficient mode of transportation—this is what VIA Rail Canada promises in its new integrated campaign with Cossette.

The communications strategy lets people travelling between Montréal and Toronto know that it’s possible to outmanoeuver treacherous weather by making the smart travel choice—and that’s to take the train. Before big storms, communications are ramped up with new creative pieces to encourage people to consider the forecast when making travel plans: digital billboards on the highway, takeovers of weather websites, pre-rolls, Waze banners, newspaper ads, dynamic banners that can be adjusted hourly according to the weather forecast, social media and relationship marketing with VIA Préférence members. On the day of the storm, it’s officially declared “A train kinda day.

“VIA Rail is the best way for travellers to get to their destination stress-free when weather conditions are difficult and unpredictable,” said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, VIA Rail’s President and CEO. “Throughout the winter, and especially when the weather is inclement, we add more train cars to accommodate extra travellers.”

“This campaign’s core message is that the train is the optimal travel solution when the weather isn’t cooperating, especially in the wintertime. To highlight this idea, we tied the campaign to real storms, where we had snow, freezing rain and black ice. Before and on the days in question, we amped up our message on multiple points of contact to encourage travellers to make the safe, sensible choice,” added Antoine Bécotte, Cossette’s Chief Creative Officer.

To emphasize that the train is the bad weather travel solution, Cossette also created a 15-second pre-roll. This campaign will continue until March.


Client: VIA Rail Canada
Agency: Cossette
Media: Touché!