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Sheepvertising to Promote TheTrainLine.com

By: Chris Reed - Published: • References: thetrainline & theinspirationroom
Thetrainline.com recruited a flock of sheep by a busy trainline to advertise their sheep UK train ticket-booking service and promote the fact that rail passengers can now save on average 43% by booking their tickets at thetrainline.com.

These prototype ‘billboards’ will debut just past Dorking Station and are visible from onboard trains on the Gatwick Airport to Reading line in the UK.

In pioneering this new, innovative medium, thetrainline.com’s money-saving message definitely isn’t woolly. 

In commenting on the campaign, Iain Hildreth, director of marketing for thetrainline.com, says the following:
“Sheep are a common sight from train windows right across the country. So, for us, using sheep as ‘billboards’ felt like an interesting and attention-grabbing area to explore, especially since sheep are featured so prominently in our advertising. After weeks of searching for the country’s most talented sheep, we feel we’ve really raised the ‘baa’ in advertising.”

“We’re always looking to help our customers find the best deals on rail tickets, especially in the current climate. Sheep advertising seemed like the perfect medium to support our new advertising campaign and communicate the fantastic 43% saving people can make with thetrainline.com.”


Hugh Broom, the farmer/owner of the sheep, says “Using sheep to advertise seems like such a simple idea, it’s surprising that nothing like this has been done before in the UK. There is quite a bit of surface area to work with, plus it’s sure to brighten up train travel. I just hope my ewes don’t start turning into divas!”

Thetrainline.com’s new advertising campaign featuring sheep both on TV and in outdoor poster ads breaks on April 19. A Thetrainline.com TV ad was shot in Wellington Station, New Zealand, and features 40 sheep who spent a month being trained by the sheep handler from the film ‘Babe.’ The sheep were taught, among other things, how to “baa” on demand, step out of taxis, and read newspapers. No computer generated imagery was used to manipulate their actions—just their favorite treat of biscuits!

Historically, sheep have played an important part in the media, from the traditional, such as the Young’s ram, to the popular like Aardman Creations’ Shaun the Sheep. Turning tradition on its head, this new campaign from thetrainline.com takes the sheep out of the media and turns them into the medium. Stats for Lambient Media Campaigns Trending: Older & Mild
Traction: 3,434 clicks in 279 w
Interest: > 3 minutes
Concept: Lambient Media Campaigns
Related: 51 examples / 39 photos
Segment: Neutral, 18-35
Comparison Set: 19 similar articles, including: sheepvertising, incredible advertising, and first sheepvertising now cowvertising.