Via Rail seeks to change drivers' habits | Cossette

Via Rail seeks to change drivers' habits


Montreal, September 2, 2016—In collaboration with Cossette, VIA Rail Canada is launching its newest campaign, “Why don’t you take the train?” Its goal is to persuade drivers to change their habits by taking the train, especially along the Quebec City–Windsor corridor, where 77% of people travel by car.

The campaign’s video ads create uncertainty by comparing different habits. “The ads are back-and-forth exchanges in which people question specific habits,” said Gilles Legault, Assistant Creative Director at Cossette. “There is no clear winner, and the matter is left as an open question. It was this moment of reflection that we wanted to capitalize on.”

The ecosystem, developed by a partnership between Touché!, Tink and Cossette, includes a number of different touchpoints. Analysis of various routes allowed for the creation of messages that draw on the habits of travellers during their trip and the ways in which taking the train can optimize their experiences.

“Identifying qualified audiences and determining growth potential for each VIA Rail route allowed us to build a clear-cut media strategy that aims to get travellers to consider the train during the planning stage or while travelling, then to qualify and leverage all of the data collected to dynamically push transactional offers,” explained Martin Soubeyran, Vice-President, at Touché!

A campaign web page ( was also created to shine a light on drivers’ habits. “With this digital deployment, VIA Rail is putting the focus on personalization and user engagement, based on users’ perceptions of train travel,” noted Jocelyn Couture, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tink, a digital agency. “The digital experience was reconsidered and adapted for each target audience, with a strong focus on mobile.”

The new campaign will run until the 2016 holiday season and include pre-roll; roadside advertising; indoor advertising in rest areas, service stations and restaurants; web banners; and social media. A series of 30-second videos and dynamic YouTube videos, displayed based on subscriber data, will reinforce the message among the public.

The videos are available on YouTube:

Credit list:

Client: VIA Rail Canada
Agency: Cossette
Media agency: Touché!
Digital agency: Tink
Production house: Les Enfants
Director: Maxime Giroux